The Canadian cannabis company Tilray Brands announced on Tuesday that it is expanding its beverage portfolio with the acquisition of popular New York-based craft brewer, Montauk Brewing.
“Tilray Brands continues to strengthen our U.S. footprint and operations through investments in and growing our portfolio of leading lifestyle CPG brands that resonate powerfully with consumers,” said Irwin D. Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Tilray. “Montauk Brewing is an iconic brand with leading market share and distribution in the northeast. Tilray Brands intends to leverage SweetWater’s existing nationwide infrastructure and Montauk Brewing’s northeast influence to significantly expand our distribution network and drive profitable growth in our beverage-alcohol segment. This distribution network is part of Tilray’s strategy to leverage our growing portfolio of U.S. CPG brands and ultimately to launch THC-based product adjacencies upon federal legalization in the U.S.”
For Tilray, the acquisition provides another foothold into the coveted United States market. Like other international cannabis brands, Tilray is circling the U.S. ahead of an anticipated change to the country’s federal marijuana laws.
President Joe Biden last month announced pardons for all individuals with simple cannabis convictions. In the announcement, Biden also signaled a change to federal marijuana laws, saying that he had directed “the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”
“As I often said during my campaign for President, no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana,” Biden said in the announcement, “Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit. Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. And while white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates.”
Tilray’s announcement on Monday said that following “federal legalization in the U.S., Tilray plans to take full advantage of its strategic infrastructure, operations and consumer loyal brands across beer, spirits, and snack-food categories to parlay into THC-based products and further expand its commercial opportunities.”
The acquisition also helps Tilray expand its collection of alcohol brands.
In the announcement on Monday, the company said that Montauk, billed as the “the #1 craft brewer in Metro New York,” “joins Tilray’s growing U.S. beverage-alcohol segment, which already includes SweetWater Brewing Company, the 10th largest craft brewer in the nation with distribution across more than 40 states, the Alpine and Green Flash iconic Southern California brands, and its leading lifestyle bourbon and spirits brand, Breckenridge Distillery.”
Montauk “has enormous potential to expand its customer base and grow throughout the U.S. as a true national brand,” Tilray said in the press release.
The announcement said that Montauk Brewing, SweetWater Brewing, Green Flash and Alpine now serve as “the cornerstones of Tilray’s coast to coast craft beer segment and further strengthens the Company’s net revenue.”
In addition to the acquisition of Montauk Brewing, Tilray said that it is also appointing “veteran beer and beverage industry executive Ty H. Gilmore as President of Tilray’s U.S. beer business, a newly created position.”
“We are excited to welcome Montauk Brewing’s founders Vaughan Cutillo and Eric Moss, as well as Terry Hopper, Montauk Brewing’s General Manager, to the Tilray Brands family and I look forward to working closely with Ty Gilmore to maximize the performance of our enormously powerful craft and lifestyle beverage brand portfolio,” Simon said in the press release on Monday.