Canadian cannabis company Aurora Cannabis Inc. entered into a joint venture with Alfred Pedersen & Søn to produce and sell cannabis in Europe. APS is a greenhouse tomato and pepper company based in Odense, Denmark.
The joint venture, called Aurora Nordic Cannabis A/S, majority of which (51 percent) is owned by the Alberta-based Aurora, will focus on selling medical cannabis products in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland. Aurora’s German unit, Pedanios GmbH, will be in charge of the distribution.
This means that through Pedanios, which is the largest distributor of cannabis in Europe, Aurora Nordic will have direct access to a massive – and still rapidly growing – customer base. And with the support of Pedanios, as capacity from the joint venture expands, any excess capacity is going to be distributed to other European countries.
APS’ top products are tomato and pepper, which are often cultivated in greenhouses and are considered to be one of the most common choices for conversion to cannabis. These three crops have similar growing requirements.
APS is one of the largest greenhouse vegetable producers in the continent, and it is known to achieve excellent yields per square foot. The Danish company operates 3,000,000 sq. ft. of greenhouse production space and ships up to 100,000 kg of greenhouse vegetables per day. To do this, APS utilizes a sophisticated logistical infrastructure and a high level of automation.
As such, Aurora believes that APS will bring Aurora Nordic relevant operational capacity and a strong network of local suppliers, as well as of logistics and financial partners.
What’s more, APS received its license to cultivate cannabis from Denmark’s Medicines Agency, Lægemiddelstyrelsen, on January 1, giving Aurora Nordic a huge advantage as one of the very few companies that are licensed to grow and cultivate cannabis in Europe.
New high-tech medical cannabis production facility
Aurora Nordic will set up a 93,000-square-meter production facility that is capable of producing up to 120,000 kg of cannabis per year. Under the terms of the partnership, Aurora and APS will fund the construction of the high-technology, fully automated facility through conventional, non-dilutive financing, combined with direct investment by APS and Aurora.
The construction of the new production facility will be done in phases, with cultivation of cannabis expected to start in the third quarter of 2018, when the first 200,000 square feet is completed. Upon completion, the new facility will establish Aurora Nordic as Europe’s largest cannabis producer.
Moreover, the new facility will be designed by greenhouse design firm Aurora Larssen Projects Ltd, formerly Larssen Ltd – which Aurora recently acquired to push its cannabis partnership plans. This new facility will be similar to Aurora Sky, which is Aurora’s flagship facility.
Aurora Sky is a closed system hybrid greenhouse that is capable of precisely controlling the heat, humidity, lighting, and distribution of nutrients in the production of “ultra low-cost” cannabis. The air system in this facility is designed to be over-pressured, with overhead robotic cranes helping replace humans in the grow areas, in order to ensure that contaminants do not enter the system.