Marc Lakmaaker, the VOP of investor relations for Aurora Cannabis started by telling our viewers a little about Aurora.
“We are one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. We have growing capacity of over 500 million grams a year. We have high tech facilities that result in very high quality low cost cannabis. Occe we are full steam we expect that are larger facilities will be producing at $1 CAD per gram. We have a vertically integrated business from pre-seed genetics through clinical trials. Medical science, product development to post harvest analytics. We are also vertically integrated along the production chain. In Canada we are coast-to-coast in the consumer market with a huge footprint in the Canadian medical market. We are also the largest distributor of cannabis in Germany and we are able to distribute cannabis throughout the EU. We own assets in eastern Europe and Latin America. We are also invested in Australia and we probably have the largest global footprint of any cannabis company in the world. We just guided for our quarter which came out on February 11th. We have had $50 to $55 CAD in revenues so we are in a very good position.” There net revenue grew 363% since the same time last year.
“Do you have a presence here in the United States?” I asked.
“The answer is no,” Marc answered frankly. “By virtue of being listed on the TSX, listed on the NYSE (ACB) we are not actually allowed to own any active assets in the U.S. We spun off a company called Australis Capital that was cpailized through a couple of private placements. They are making investments in the U.S. cannabis space. We have a couple of warrants that allows us to back into Australis hedged against U.S. valuations today.”
“The World Health Organization seems to be on the verge of recommending that marijuana be rescheduled internationally, how do you think that would impact Aurora’s international business?”
“It’s a great thing,” Marc responded enthusiastically. “From a health policy point of view cannabis has been shown to have many beneficial properties proven by scientific research. I mentioned in my presentation earlier today that we have completed over 40 pre-clinical trials. It makes a lot of sense. How it impacts us, it puts cannabis on a different footing to the global audience of billions of people. It will contribute to the rapid de-stigmatization of cannabis and that is obviously a good thing for us. We have a strong early mover advantage and we will move on that.”
My final question. “You mentioned genetics a moment ago. Monsanto recently patented a GM strain, a genetically modified strain, do you see Aurora going down that path?”
“It’s a tricky subject. Where we are at right now is that we are reading science. We have genetic capabilities but that is something we would have to look at really carefully. What is coming out of Aurora in the shorter term is the low hanging fruit. We are developing strains optimized for an automated growing environment. If you look at our Sky Class Facilities, 800,000 square feet. If you reduce the grow cycle in time a little bit, if you increase the yield of the plants, if you increase the oil output per plant that’s going to have a massive impact. So that the type of science you are going to see coming out of us. In terms of genetically modifying, it’s very early. But, it’s a trick subject we are very well aware of.”
We would like to thank Marc Lakmaaker from Aurora Cannabis for joining us.
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