Consumer Legalization One Year Later: Aurora Cannabis Reveals Sneak Peek of Plans for NextGen Cannabis Products – Canada NewsWire

Consumer Legalization One Year Later: Aurora Cannabis Reveals Sneak Peek of Plans for NextGen Cannabis Products - Canada NewsWire
Quebec to offer legal cannabis at $4.49 a gram, beating grey-market price
EDMONTON, Oct. 16, 2019 /CNW/ – On the one-year anniversary of consumer legalization in Canada, Aurora Cannabis Inc. ("Aurora") (NYSE |TSX: ACB), the Canadian company defining the future of cannabis worldwide, announced plans for the roll-out of vapes, concentrates, and edibles when they are permitted for sale to consumers in December. The Company has prioritized its resources to prepare for a successful initial launch that will support an ongoing replenishment strategy to help ensure consumers across Canada will have access to a diverse portfolio of high-quality derivative products they want to buy.

You can watch a compilation of our commercial production of vapes, mints, chocolates and gummies HERE. Photos are available on Auroras Investor website HERE.

"Auroras Product Development and Insights teams have done tremendous work to formulate new products in a variety of formats that we think will exceed consumer expectations and drive category growth," said Aurora CEO Terry Booth. "Aurora has built industry-leading cannabis capacity and scalability supported by our consumer research and retail distribution bench strength to launch this next generation of cannabis products into the Canadian market. We are ready to ship product as soon as the regulations allow and are excited for consumers and patients to finally have access to a greater selection of product forms. We are already working on expanding the range of new products beyond those that will initially launch."

"The public don't know that when they're going online, typically the first three or four sites that will come up online will be illegal sites to purchase cannabis," said Serr. "We're working nationally to try to find some solutions."

To support the successful launch of vapes, concentrates, and edibles products, and to continue to ensure sufficient supply for domestic and international markets, Aurora has established production hubs in Eastern and Western Canada at Aurora River (Bradford, Ontario), Aurora Vie (Pointe Claire, Quebec) and at Aurora Sky (Leduc, Alberta).

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These centres are intended to provide centralized production, packaging, logistics and distribution capabilities. In total, they comprise more than 450,000 square feet and are strategically located to efficiently distribute Auroras products to markets across the country. In addition, Aurora Air, a 20,000 square foot manufacturing facility near Aurora Sky at the Edmonton International Airport, will be home to several of the new production lines for edible products. Auroras next generation products have been formulated to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements. All new cannabis product forms are subject to a legislated Health Canada 60-day review period that begins on October 17, 2019. 

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

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Vapes Auroras customized extraction process uses a proprietary method that retains a high quantity and quality of terpenes and contains no fillers or dilutive agents. Aurora is bringing a new range of high-quality vape products to market at various price points that are targeted to all major consumer markets including closed-loop, 510 thread cartridges, and disposable single-use units. Watch a video of Auroras vape production HERE.

First, the aim of these prohibitions is what the aim of cannabis legalization has always been – keep it away from kids, and dont encourage consumption or make it look enjoyable. Second, the bar for assessing that compliance is currently really low. Case in point: In the days immediately following legalization last October 2018, New Brunswicks government-run online portal for cannabis sales was deemed non-compliant by Health Canada because it featured a picture of a woman in a yoga pose. This was considered to associate cannabis with vitality, which is a positive emotion, and therefore prohibited.

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Concentrates From seed to extract, Aurora grows, extracts and produces its concentrates with no fillers or dilutive agents. Products are made completely in-house, from 100 per cent cannabis-derived rosin, using a proprietary extraction process. The Company intends to produce popular product forms such as shatter, sugar wax and live rosin for purchase by consumers in Canada.

One year into legalization, we have seen a broad range of marketing activities in the cannabis space. Some have used ingenuity to stay within the confines of the law, others have gone right up to the margins with defensible positions in the absence of regulatory certainty, and some have crossed the line. I hope that open consultation between government and industry continues to evolve before someone is unduly punished for a marketing activity that was reasonably and defensibly structured to be compliant, even if Health Canada takes a different view.

Edibles Auroras new suite of edibles products – which are intended to initially include gummies, chocolates, baked goods, and mints – have been made in consultation with food industry experts and food scientists to create cannabis-infused edibles of the highest quality. Cannabis extract is infused throughout the product to provide consistency, texture and a great flavor.

That is not a criticism of Health Canada, the federal government agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Cannabis Act. The creative minds in the cannabis industry know no bounds, so no new regulation could have anticipated every action that flowed from their imaginations. While some may object to a regulatory framework that restricts cannabis marketing as much as tobacco but with none of the permissiveness accorded to beverage alcohol, Health Canada has been measured in its enforcement activity to date.

To help ensure Canadian consumers receive the highest quality products, Aurora has selectively partnered with a variety of organizations across some of the edible product categories it initially intends to focus on, including:

But there is a third conclusion to draw based on events to-date. One objective of cannabis legalization was to eliminate the illicit market, and that objective will be a challenge as long as marketing activities are restricted, customer engagement is limited and brand loyalty undeveloped. A balance still needs to be struck between discouraging consumption while at the same time directing consumers toward a regulated marketplace.

Aurora has established key partnerships with two leading companies to develop CBD and THC infused gummies and candies. These technical partnerships have positioned Aurora to be a leader in the edible category in Canada and in other jurisdictions in the future as regulations allow.

Food-form edibles. Edibles can take many shapes, but we know they won’t have more than 10 milligrams of THC per package — meaning they will have a unit of consumption, much like one beer or one glass of wine — and “must not be appealing to youth.” Does that mean no gummy bears? Probably, but Health Canada hasn’t said for sure. Between now and Dec. 17, manufacturers will be submitting products for approval. Edibles are about 13 per cent of market share in Colorado.

Watch a video of Auroras cannabis-infused mints production HERE. Watch a video of Auroras cannabis-infused chocolates production HERE. Watch a video of Auroras cannabis-infused gummies production HERE.

Beverages. One problem with traditional edibles is that users need to wait for them to hit the digestive system to feel any effects, a process that can potentially take hours. Some make the mistake of deciding the edible isn’t working and take more, only to have the doubled or tripled quantities kick in hours later. Companies are planning to offer cannabis beverages made with water-soluble THC, which should offer quicker feedback.

On the one-year anniversary of consumer legalization in Canada, Aurora acknowledges the hard work and advocacy of patients, champions and the cannabis community that ultimately led to the end of prohibition. Since inception, Aurora has embraced the experience, knowledge, and insight of experts from the cannabis community and has drawn on that in every area of its business – including the development of edibles and ingestibles for the consumer market.

Extracts for vaping. Plans to offer these products haven’t been affected by the vaping crisis in the United States, though customer enthusiasm might be. (Dry flower vaping, in which flower is heated to the point at which the THC can be inhaled, but below burning temperature, is a different process.)

In April, Owen Smith joined Auroras Corporate Social Responsibility team as a Stakeholder Engagement Specialist for Western Canada. A long-time cannabis trailblazer and activist, Owen was arrested in 2009 for making cannabis-infused vegetable oil products for medical patients, inspired by his sister who was in the final stages of cancer. With the help of community funding, he took his case to the Supreme Court of Canada that unanimously decided restricting medical cannabis access to dried flower infringed upon patients right to make choices about their health.

"Because of that ruling, thousands of patients – and now consumers – have the right to access cannabis products that come in a variety of formats other than dried flower," said Jonathan Zaid, Auroras Director of Advocacy and Corporate Social Responsibility. "This is who we are at Aurora. We support and embrace people who push the status quo and help move the whole sector forward. We bring these worlds together to create products people are looking for in the regulated market."

In a move aimed at drawing cannabis consumers away from the black market over to the legal side, Hexo has a new product where the average price per gram undercuts its illicit competition. The Original Stash will be sold soon nationwide where cannabis customers can spend $125.70, or $4.49 per gram, for 28 grams of legal pot. Thats about a dollar less than the average price per gram of black market cannabis, according to Statistics Canada. Jefferies cannabis analyst Owen Bennett said its unlikely Hexo will see any substantial market share gains from its new offering, as price-conscious consumers already buying from the black market are less likely to pay that much for legal pot, regardless of price per gram.

To stay informed of regular updates and insights into operations at Aurora, visit the Aurora Insider, our investor-focused blog

Headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with funded capacity in excess of 625,000 kg per annum and sales and operations in 25 countries across five continents, Aurora is one of the worlds largest and leading cannabis companies. Aurora is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across every key segment of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis and hemp production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution.

Zimbabwe is looking to get into the cannabis industry with a unique twist. The African nation is planting industrial hemp on the grounds of the main prison in its capital, Harare. The goal, according to the countrys agricultural minister, is to help diversify its crop exports away from tobacco amid changing global consumer trends from smoking. However, Zimbabwean prisoners wont be tending to the hemp plants. Instead, itll be grown by the privately-held Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust which will also take advantage of the prisons tight security to cultivate the crop.

Highly differentiated from its peers, Aurora has established a uniquely advanced, consistent and efficient production strategy, based on purpose-built facilities that integrate leading-edge technologies across all processes, defined by extensive automation and customization, resulting in the massive scale production of high-quality consistent product. Designed to be replicable and scalable globally, our production facilities are designed to produce cannabis at significant scale, with high quality, industry-leading yields, and low-per gram production costs. Each of Auroras facilities is built to meet European Union Good Manufacturing Practices ("EU GMP") standards. Certification has been granted to Auroras first production facility in Mountain View County, the MedReleaf Markham facility, and its wholly owned European medical cannabis distributor Aurora Deutschland. All Aurora facilities are designed and built to the EU GMP standard.

2.2% — The amount that cannabis prices have declined since January, according to Statistics Canada. The countrys national statistics agency released new consumer price index figures showing cannabis prices rose 0.1 per cent in September from the prior month.

In addition to the Companys rapid organic growth and strong execution on strategic M&A, which to date includes 17 wholly owned subsidiary companies – MedReleaf, CanvasRX, Peloton Pharmaceutical, Aurora Deutschland, H2 Biopharma, BC Northern Lights, Larssen Greenhouses, CanniMed Therapeutics, Anandia, HotHouse Consulting, MED Colombia, Agropro, Borela, ICC Labs, Whistler, Chemi Pharmaceutical, and Hempco – Aurora is distinguished by its reputation as a partner and employer of choice in the global cannabis sector, having invested in and established strategic partnerships with a range of leading innovators, including: Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI), Cann Group Ltd. (ASX: CAN), Micron Waste Technologies Inc. (CSE: MWM), Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO), CTT Pharmaceuticals (OTCC: CTTH), Alcanna Inc. (TSX: CLIQ), High Tide Inc. (CSE: HITI), EnWave Corporation (TSXV: ENW), Capcium Inc. (private), Evio Beauty Group (private), and Wagner Dimas (private).

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Auroras Common Shares trade on the TSX and NYSE under the symbol "ACB", and is a constituent of the S&P/TSX Composite Index.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

This news release includes statements containing certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities law ("forward-looking statements"). Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "continue", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "potential", "proposed" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or "will" occur, and include, but are not limited to, the successful production and launch of the Companys next generation products listed in this news release and the associated time frame for such products being available on the market in Canada. These statements are only predictions. Various assumptions were used in drawing the conclusions or making the projections contained in the forward-looking statements throughout this news release. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. The Company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.

"A 10-milligram chocolate bar, I'd need to eat four to feel any effect," said Lindsay in an interview from Victoria. "Every kind of regulation they put in place seems to me to be way over-the-top ludicrous."

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"It's an exciting time because this is a chance for Canada to make this ours," said Travis Petersen, a chef who hoped the rule changes would open the door for cannabis-infused cooking at restaurants.

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For further information: For Media: Heather MacGregor, +1.416.509.5416, [email protected]; For Investors: Rob Kelly, +1.647.331.7228, [email protected]

Cannabis company Hexo Corp. says it is aiming to undercut prices in the illicit market with its new 28-gram product, that costs as much as one dollar less per gram than at a illegal dispensary.

“They asked me if I’d ever done drugs and I just told the truth,” he said. “I didn’t want to lie, so I told them, ‘Yes, I smoked marijuana 18 years ago.’ Four hours later, I was escorted across the border after I was fingerprinted, frisked, pictures taken and asked 1,000 questions, the same question every time.”

Hexo says the product will be on sale in Quebec cannabis stores for $125.70 taxes included, or $4.49 per gram.

Statistics Canada’s latest price analysis based on crowdsourced data showed that the average cost of a gram of cannabis was $7.37 during the third quarter, with the price of legal and illegal weed slipping to $10.23 and $5.59 per gram, respectively.

Canadians wanting to cross the U.S. border are being asked different marijuana questions than they were before cannabis was legal, says an American immigration lawyer who represents numerous aging baby boomers denied entry to America for past pot use.

Hexo chief executive Sebastien St-Louis said the product under the brand name Original Stash is aimed at the half of Canadians who are continuing to buy pot from the illicit market one year after legalization.

There was an uptick in some U.S. states after they legalized pot, but Lee said that was likely due to the fact that edibles – with their stronger, longer high – came on the market there right away. In Canada, there has been a year-long wait, with edibles and other cannabis derivatives becoming legal Thursday.

He said Hexo is able to offer a one ounce, or 28 gram size, product at this price point for various reasons, such as less plastic packaging required for the larger size, its increased production scale and lower hydroelectric costs in Quebec.

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Original Stash will be between 12 and 18 per cent THC, the company said. It will be for sale in Quebec starting Thursday.

“The cost of legal cannabis is still too high. Barriers for medical access are still too high. And access to high-quality cannabis is also being stymied,” said lawyer Harrison Jordan, who advises individuals and businesses on cannabis law.

28 grams is a far larger container than is usual in the Canadian legal market, though grey-market sellers often sell in bulk and offer bulk discounts.

“They don’t want to engage in a course of conduct … that might lead to a finding that the law’s unconstitutional and jeopardize the ability to use those laws in more significant circumstances.”

Hexo said it worked with Quebec’s provincial cannabis corporation on the pricing strategy and is in discussions with other provinces and territories.

Quebec’s monopoly cannabis retailer has several dry flower products for under $6 a gram, but this will be its first under $5.