CAN: Aurora Cannabis focuses on cannabis 2.0 roll out

Aurora Cannabis Inc. has provided an update on the readiness of its operations with the introduction of new product formats, recent industry recognitions and updates to existing operations.

"We have focused our collective efforts to be ready for the successful launch of Cannabis 2.0 as Canada takes the next step in the legalization of newly allowed product forms. We are ready and have launched a diversified portfolio of new product formats and are excited for Canadians to have access to high-quality, safe alternative cannabis products such as edibles, vape pens and other derivatives," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. "We have prudently deployed capital and we believe that we're ready with the appropriate combination of technology, scale and consumer insights to have the right products on store shelves in a timely fashion. This was not an easy task and I would like to thank the entire Aurora team for their collective efforts in getting 2.0 across the goal line in time for our provincial regulators."

 

Recent corporate initiatives
Aurora has taken steps to proactively rationalize capital expenditures, reduce near term debt and bolster liquidity, they say. "The previously announced deferral of construction and commissioning activities is expected to conserve approximately $200 million of cash in the near term. We believe that our existing assets are sufficient to meet current demand at a low cost per gram. We expect to have the flexibility to ramp up projects as global demand dictates." 

In late November, Aurora also retired $227 million of the $230 million 5% unsecured convertible  debentures that were due in March 2020 with the issuance of shares and thereby preserving cash.

"Aurora continues to evaluate multiple sources of capital and currently has access to undrawn capacity under a CDN$360 million credit facility with a syndicate of banks, in addition to its US$400 million at-the-market equity distribution program."

Cannabis 2.0 product launch
Aurora has commenced shipments of initial orders received to 10 of Canada's provincial regulators of Cannabis 2.0 products following December 17, 2019, however most Canadian consumers will likely not see these products on retail store shelves until early January 2020 due to varied retail operations across the country. Patients can now immediately access a variety of the new product formats.

"Initially we are providing a variety of CBD and THC vape and edible products, such as gummies, chocolates, baked goods and mints. These new cannabis products are being produced at Aurora Sky in Edmonton, Alberta, Aurora River in Bradford, Ontario and Aurora Vie in Pointe-Claire, Quebec", they continue. "These centres have been outfitted to provide centralized production, packaging, logistics and distribution capabilities. We have prioritized our resources to prepare for a successful initial launch and have built inventories to support an ongoing replenishment strategy to help ensure consumers across Canada have access to a diverse portfolio of high-quality derivative products" 

Provincial regulatory updates
Aurora commends Premier Ford, Minister Downey and the Government of Ontario for committing to improving the province of Ontario's cannabis retail environment through the open allocation of retail cannabis licensing. The new policy is expected to see the removal of the cap on the number of private cannabis stores in the province as well as thoughtful pre-qualification requirements.

"We applaud this positive step by the Province of Ontario to provide a retail environment which is conducive to a successful system that  provides Canadians with more safe, regulated cannabis products," said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora.

Recent executive appointment|
Aurora Cannabis announced a change to the Executive Team. Cam Battley has stepped down as Chief Corporate Officer effective December 20, 2019.

Mr. Battley joined Aurora in 2016, serving a number of senior roles critical to the success of the company in its early years before being named Chief Corporate Officer in 2018. "Mr. Battley has been instrumental in Aurora’s international growth, serving as a powerful advocate and corporate voice in support of global acceptance." 

Aurora announced that Rick Savone has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Global Government Relations. In this new role, Rick will oversee Aurora's relationships with governments around the world, helping them to create regulations that will allow greater access to medical cannabis products for patients. Over the course of his career Rick has developed deep government relations experience, most recently as the Director General for Global Affairs Canada. Prior to that, Rick was Canada's ambassador to Brazil and has held various other senior level positions with the Department including as consul general in Shanghai.

Aurora Nordic 1 receives additional licensing
Aurora Nordic 1, the Company's 100,000 square foot facility located in Odense, Denmark, with a production capacity of 8,000 kg per year of medical cannabis, recently received a processing and drying license. Aurora has also completed the requisite filings to obtain EU GMP certification of the facility, and expects to receive approval in the first calendar quarter of 2020, which will allow for sale to patients across Europe.

New extraction technology implemented at Aurora River
Aurora River, the Company's 210,000 square foot production facility located in Bradford, Ontario, recently completed installation of new, proprietary extraction equipment to increase the Company's resin extract production capacity for soon-to-be-released cannabis derivative products. The equipment was designed in-house and uses CO2 extraction to process up to 20 kg of plant material per run and is capable of performing two runs per day. Aurora River is already using the new extraction technology for the production of edibles and Aurora's new line of vapes with high-quality cannabis resin from the company's high-THC and high-CBD cultivars.

Aurora Eau receives Health Canada Processing License
Aurora Eau located in Lachute, Quebec, recently received a Health Canada processing license. In addition to its existing Health Canada license, which authorized cannabis cultivation and sales, the new license allows the facility to process, package and sell dried and fresh cannabis to authorized Canadian retailers. Designed for the cultivation of niche and exotic cannabis varieties and home to Aurora's eastern Canada outdoor grow operation, Aurora Eau is a 48,000 square foot facility with a production capacity of 4,500 kg/ year.

New automated packaging line installed at Aurora Vie
Aurora Vie located in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, recently commissioned and installed a new automated packaging line, reducing the time it takes to package solid dose cannabis products. The state-of-the-art equipment can package, seal and cap up to 100 bottles per minute and has been used for softgels at the facility since Oct. 31, 2019. The new packaging line is used for cannabis-infused mints, which are made at Aurora Vie and are expected to enter the consumer and medical cannabis markets after December 17, 2019.

For more information:
Aurora
P.O. Box 209
Cremona, AB. T0M0R0
1-844-928-7672
auroramj.com

 


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