Aurora Cannabis (ACB) announced this morning that it has received Health Canada licenses for outdoor cultivation at two Canadian sites.
The new sites in Quebec and British Columbia will be used for cultivation research to develop new technology, genetics and intellectual property in order to drive sustainable, high-quality outdoor production. Aurora purposefully chose the outdoor sites because they represent two different growing environments. The company will conduct research on cultivation techniques to further excel at growing cannabis in varying climate conditions and will examine approaches to environmentally sustainable cannabis agriculture.
The newly-named Western facility will be called Aurora Valley and is a 207-acre operation in Westwold, British Columbia. The Eastern facility, a 21,000 square foot operation at the Aurora Eau facility in Lachute, is the first approved outdoor grow operation for cannabis in Quebec. Aurora Valley is expected to be planted shortly and Aurora Eau has already been planted.
The two sites are an extension of the scientific research Aurora will be conducting at its new Comox facility, which will be ready in the fall of 2019. The Comox facility consists of a 21,000 square foot indoor grow facility and a 10,500 square foot laboratory. This unique research centre will be home for Aurora’s plant breeding team designed to create new cannabis cultivars with improved growing characteristics for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
“Aurora believes in innovative operations and intensive research and we’re applying our approach to outdoor grown cannabis,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth. “Our team plans to use these areas to ensure we are able to consistently grow the high-quality cannabis Aurora has become known for around the world. We’re proud to be a Canadian company and this is a further commitment to research and job creation in Canada.”
Dr. Jonathan Page, Chief Science Officer at Aurora added, “For this season and next, our focus will be on researching cultivation methods and evaluating genetics in order to produce high THC and CBD cannabis in outdoor-grown plants, with the ultimate goal of extracting these components. The unique climates of each site also presents a great opportunity to determine which cultivars will perform best in different outdoor environments.”
In addition to the two new outdoor production sites, Aurora confirms it has now received the Health Canada processing license for its Aurora Air facility located near the Edmonton International Airport and Aurora Sky. Aurora Air will be home to several of the new production lines for edible products such as gummies and chocolates, to be introduced to the Canadian consumer market in December 2019.
Wall Street sizes up ACB as a ‘Moderate Buy’ stock, as the bulls edge out the cautious on the chip giant. In the last 3 months, ACB has received 5 bullish ratings versus 3 analysts hedging their bets. Although Aurora shares have risen over 30% year-to-date, the consensus price target of $9.95 hints there could be upside for investors, with the stock fetching $6.77. (See ACB’s price targets and analyst ratings on TipRanks)