Out on the Canadian plains near Edmonton International Airport, there’s a construction site about the size of 16 football fields. Sometime after October — if all goes according to plan — it will be the largest marijuana grow facility on the planet.
But how big is big? For Aurora Sky — the soon to be flagship facility for Aurora, which is one of the companies licensed by Health Canada to produce and sell medical-marijuana, “big” is massive: an 800,000 square feet of “hybrid greenhouse” grow space spread over a 30-acre footprint, enough square-footage to grow 100,000 kilograms of cannabis a year.
(For those of us south of the (northern) border, that’s 220,500 pounds — more than 100 tons.)
Such incredible supply won’t be much good without stupendous demand: Canada has only 130,000 medical-marijuana patients, but that’s up from 30,000 since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party took power — and promised to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults in the country.
Just when Trudeau’s government will fulfill that campaign promise is unclear, but it could be as soon as within the next year.
Aurora is promising investors that production can begin soon after the massive grow complex is completed. Much of the cannabis factory is already built — overseas, in the Netherlands, from where it will be shipped and installed once construction in Canada moves along. How efficient.
Cannabis companies love comparing themselves to Silicon Valley unicorns. Canada had the first true unicorn, a publicly-traded company worth more than $1 billion, after Election Day in November. So what’s Aurora? According to Equities.com, it’s the Amazon Prime of cannabis, complete with a mobile app and guaranteed two-day shipping throughout Canada — and the massive warehouse space where it all begins to match.
Aurora Sky, which also recently announced a plan to partner with an oil-extraction company, is located near the Edmonton International Airport. The local hockey team is called the Oilers, thanks to the oil rigs dotting the plains around Alberta. If this all goes to plan, they can keep the name — but switch the rig.
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