Bridging the industrial and artisanal divide in the cannabis market
Aurora Cannabis Inc. (CSE: ACB) “The Company” is one of few Canadian MMPR growers with the tools and expertise to bridge the fundamental gap between artisanal and industrial cannabis and make money at it. This company is within 2-3 months of submitting its first batch of medicine for approval by Health Canada, which would grant a license to begin selling its products.
Cannabis is a capricious plant that requires unusual expertise to grow. Its industrialization is posing challenges that few can meet effectively, as demonstrated by the recent recalls of medicinal cannabis by licensed producers.
“But we’ve learnt from the mistakes of others,” said Terry Booth, President and CEO.
The greatest challenge to the cannabis industry is to grow high quality medicine that meets regulated standards imposed by Health Canada, and develops efficient industrial production processes.
With a 55,200 square feet purpose-built $10.5 M growth facility on farmland in the Alberta foothills where cattle farming and oil drilling comingle, the company plans to produce 5400 kg annually. A great deal of thought has been given to air quality, automating nutrient delivery and light delivery systems to precisely accommodate different growth stages.
Joel Fuzat, facility director, starts: “We truly believe it is state of the art, one of the most advanced facilities on the globe. That is certainly the message we get from anyone visiting the facility. Some of the top industry representatives have come through and left with their jaws on the floor. It’s one thing to read or hear about our facility, but it’s an entirely different thing to experience and see the magic in person.”
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The Company has used experts at all levels of the value chain to develop its business process. Aurora staff has the experience and understanding of the subtle dynamics of the medicinal components of cannabis – well beyond monitoring the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9THC) and cannabidiols (CBD) levels that most people seem to focus on today.
In the rapidly expanding world of therapeutic cannabis, there is increasing evidence that cannabinoids and the non-medicinal molecules of cannabis interact synergistically to yield the therapeutic effects of cannabis: the Entourage Effect.
There are more than 480 natural components found within the cannabis plant, of which 66 have been classified as “cannabinoids.” Those are chemicals unique to the plant, including THC and CBD. But if we contemplate the possible interactions between all the cannabis molecules, we are faced with billions of possibilities that may increase therapeutic properties or even reduce side effects.
Respect of the Entourage Effect may be a key factor determining who will emerge as the producers of medical marihuana. In my discussions with Aurora staff it became evident that the Company staff is looking to integrate its understanding of the Entourage effect into its production and sales processes.
Aurora has just recently reported that it has entered into a joint venture for the purpose of producing cannabis in Washington State, which along with Colorado is one of the two US jurisdictions were access to marijuana is unrestricted.
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>