Tilray CEO: People want the 'Berlin Wall of cannabis prohibition' in the US to topple over

  • "It is definitely (a win). Last night we saw one state legalize for adult use and two for medical (purposes), which brings us to 33 medical states and 10 adult use states," Tilray Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy told CNBC Wednesday morning.
  • Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to the latest Gallup poll. The latest figure from Gallup marks the third consecutive year that support on the measure has increased and hit a new record.
Brendan Kennedy, CEO, Tilray
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Brendan Kennedy, CEO, Tilray

The midterm election results are a win for the marijuana industry, according to the CEO of a prominent cannabis company.

Utah and Missouri approved the use of cannabis for medical purposes on Tuesday, according to projections. While Michigan gave the green light to the recreational use of marijuana, having allowed its use for medical purposes before. North Dakota rejected proposals to allow recreational use of marijuana on Tuesday but it's still allowed for medical purposes.

"It is definitely (a win). Last night we saw one state legalize for adult use and two for medical (purposes), which brings us to 33 medical states and 10 adult use states," Tilray Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy told CNBC Wednesday morning.

"We're now at a point where 93 percent of Americans believe that medical cannabis should be legal, 65 percent believe that cannabis should be legal for adult use," Kennedy told CNBC's Karen Tso.

Tilray, a Canadian pharmaceutical and cannabis firm, became a listed company on the Nasdaq in July. Its stock has seen massive swings since then and was up 5.8 percent in premarket trade on Wednesday morning.

"I think people are waiting for the Berlin Wall of Cannabis prohibition to topple over in the U.S. and I think yesterday's election removed a few more bricks from that wall," Kennedy added.

He believes that other countries in the world will continue legalizing cannabis and that will add pressure on the United States to do the same. At the moment, federal law considers marijuana use illegal, raising a conflict with state laws.

"With this new Congress we will see bipartisan support for continued medial legalization, I think you'll see some resolution around this federal state conflict," Kennedy said.

Sixty-six percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, according to the latest Gallup poll. The latest figure from Gallup marks the third consecutive year that support on the measure has increased and hit a new record.

—CNBC's Ryan Browne and Thomas Franck contributed to this report.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the surname of Tilray Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy.