Privateer CEO: U.S. marijuana legalization coming in 2-3 years

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Brendan Kennedy, the CEO of Seattle-based private equity firm Privateer Holdings, predicted at an Ireland tech summit this week that marijuana will be legalized at the federal level in the U.S. in two or three years.

There is some discrepancy on the timeline, since USA Today quoted Kennedy as estimating that legalization will occur “within the next two years,” while Business Insider reported his prediction at three years.

But according to the reports, Kennedy believes the election of Justin Trudeau as Canada’s new prime minister will have a good bit to do with cannabis reform in general. During his campaign, Trudeau vowed to legalize recreational marijuana in his country.

Kennedy also predicted that cannabis will become legal in five to seven years in parts of Europe, and singled out Spain, Germany and Croatia as nations that are moving in that direction. He tagged the United Kingdom, saying the island nation is “a little bit behind” when it comes to marijuana reforms.

If the cannabis industry does make further inroads internationally, Privateer is one company that’s already a step ahead, as it owns the Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray.