A group of men in lab coats holding plants.

Aurora Cannabis gets licences for two outdoor growing facilities

Food and Agriculture
Published On
July 15, 2019
Holding trays of newly introduced mother plants in the 32,00 square foot mother room at the Aurora Sky facility are: Tom Ruth, president and CEO, Edmonton International Airport, Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous, Shaye Anderson MLA for Leduc-Beaumont and Cam Battley, Chief Corporate Officer, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises Inc. on February 5, 2018 at the Edmonton International Airport. Photo by Shaughn Butts / Postmedia

Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis has received a processing licence from Health Canada for its Aurora Air facility located near the Edmonton International Airport and two outdoor cultivation licences for sites in Quebec and British Columbia, the company announced Monday.

“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,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth in a release.

Located near Aurora Sky, the company’s cannabis growing operation with a capacity of 100,000 kilograms per year, the Aurora Air facility will produce edible products, such as gummies and chocolates, set to hit the Canadian consumer market in December 2019.

The new outdoor sites will be Aurora Valley, a 207-acre operation in Westwold, B.C., and Aurora Eau, A 21,000 square-foot operation in Lachute, Quebec. The Quebec facility is the first approved outdoor grow operation for cannabis in Quebec and has already been planted.

Aurora said it chose the outdoor sites because they represent two different growing environments. The new sites in Quebec and British Columbia will be used for cultivation research to develop new technology, genetics and intellectual property. Aurora will also conduct research on cultivation techniques in varying climate conditions and will examine approaches to environmentally sustainable cannabis agriculture.

“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,” said Jonathan Page, chief science officer at Aurora.

Health Canada opened the door to outdoor cultivation in June 2018, after a previous restriction to indoor growing to prevent theft and ensure quality control. Aurora will join companies that have since been licensed to grow cannabis outdoors including 48North Cannabis Corp. operations in Ontario, and Canopy Growth Corp.’s site in Saskatchewan.