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Olga Boiko

Aurora Cannabis Inc. has confirmed its acquisition of a 51% ownership stake in Portugal’s Gaia Pharm Lda. for an undisclosed sum. The goal, stated Aurora, is to “establish a local facility to produce medical cannabis and derivative products.”

Aurora has said that this move is “consistent” with its strategy to achieve an early presence in countries with developing medical cannabis markets.

Gaia Pharm Lda., which will be renamed Aurora Portugal Lda., received approval earlier this month from the Portuguese Health Ministry division, INFARMED, to build an EU GMP compliant cannabis cultivation facility. The new facility will be “constructed in phases,” with the first chunk to be completed by the third quarter of the 2020 calendar year.

Out of the gates, Aurora expects the facility to have a production capacity of 2,000 kg per annum. Once the second phase of construction is completed, that number will jump to 4,000 kg per annum.

On January 15, 2019, distribution of prescribed medical cannabis to patients in Portugal was given the green light by regulators. Medical cannabis can also be distributed from Portugal to other European Union countries in which said product is legal.

“We are very pleased to be entering yet another European market and look forward to collaborating with our joint venture partners, the government of Portugal and the Portuguese medical community, to encourage the development of a rigorously regulated and safe medical cannabis system that is well supplied and accessible to patients,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora.

“With the addition of this new project, we are now active in 24 countries, which we believe represents the largest global footprint of any cannabis company,” continued Booth. “Aurora’s reputation in the medical cannabis sector, bolstered by the high quality of our products and our commitment to medical and plant research, provides distinct advantages in establishing significant market share in the rapidly growing European market.”

Offered Dr. Axel Gille, Aurora’s VP Business Development Europe: “The formation of this joint venture and the approval of the cultivation facility in Portugal are additional important steps in Aurora’s plan to develop a strong European manufacturing presence, ensuring that patients across Europe have access to the pharmaceutical grade medical cannabis they need.”

In a recent CannabisOfficials article, Aurora Cannabis Inc. was named one of the Canadian cannabis stocks to watch in 2019. Click here to view the full list!

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