Aurora license to extract cannabis oil “conservatively forecasted” to contribute 30% in additional revenues
On February 17, 2016 Aurora Cannabis Inc. (CSE:ACB | OTCQB:ACBFF) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Aurora Enterprises Inc. received approval to produce derivative cannabis products through a Section 56 exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (“CDSA”).
In anticipation for this approval from Health Canada, Aurora had acquired supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment in Q2 2015 that is CGMP compliant.
CGMP refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CGMPs provide for systems that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities. Adherence to the CGMP regulations assures the identity, strength, quality, and purity of drug products by requiring that manufacturers of medications adequately control manufacturing operations. This includes establishing strong quality management systems, obtaining appropriate quality raw materials, establishing robust operating procedures, detecting and investigating product quality deviations, and maintaining reliable testing laboratories.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a solvent-free process for the extraction of the active compounds of the cannabis plant while preserving its full terpenoid profile, all of which have generally accepted therapeutic benefits under the broadly accepted entourage effect.
Supercritical CO2 is commonly used for the extraction of natural oils from plant products. It relies on a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure. Popular products manufactured using this method are: herbal essential oils, hops for beer, high value plant pharmaceutical precursors and decaffeinated coffee.
Carbon dioxide usually behaves as a gas in air at standard temperature and pressure, or as a solid called dry ice when frozen. If the temperature and pressure are both increased from standard temperature and pressure to be at or above the critical point for carbon dioxide, it can develop solvent properties midway between a gas and a liquid. More specifically, it behaves as a supercritical fluid above its critical temperature (31.10 °C, 87.98 °F) and critical pressure (72.9 atm, 7.39 MPa, 1,071 psi), expanding to fill its container like a gas but with a density like that of a liquid.
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Supercritical CO2 is becoming an important commercial and industrial solvent due to its use in chemical extraction in addition to its low toxicity and environmental impact. The relatively low temperature of the process and the stability of CO2 also permits the extraction of terpenes with little damage or denaturing. This is especially important to cannabis oils, which are laden with a broad array of fragile terpenes, to provide a balanced taste and aroma. In other words, cannabis oil extraction with solvents under high temperatures destroys terpenes.
Also the solubility of many extracted compounds in supercritical CO2 varies with pressure, permitting selective extractions. This permits to create pure essential oils and to strip out or separate different elements of botanicals.
The purity of supercritical CO2 is a tremendous advantage over all other solvents used for plant extraction. Currently, a popular extraction solvent is butane, which can potentially leave heavy metals behind in cannabis oils.
Aurora expects high demand for its extracts, which are conservatively forecasted to contribute 30% additional revenues and improve profit margins.
Aurora’s facility, with 55,200 square feet of expandable licensed production space, is expected to be running at full capacity by spring 2016, has a demonstrated capability of producing over 8,000 kg of dried cannabis annually.
As a result of the Supreme Court of Canada decision, individuals authorized to possess marijuana under the MMPR and those falling under the terms of a court injunction (for example, Allard injunction) may now possess marijuana derivatives for their own use.
In order to eliminate uncertainty around a legal source of supply of marijuana, Health Canada took steps to issue section 56 exemptions under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), allowing licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis oil and fresh marijuana buds and leaves in addition to dried marijuana.
Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>