Canada Markets open in 5 hrs 48 mins

New Aurora edibles plant doesn't rule out food and drink partnerships: exec

Artist Rendering: Aurora Polaris Facility (CNW Group/Aurora Cannabis Inc.)

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB.TO) plans to develop edible products including baked goods, chocolates, mints, and infused beverages at a new Edmonton facility, the company said on Tuesday.

Dubbed Aurora Polaris, the 300,000 square-foot expansion will neighbour the newly completed large-scale Aurora Sky greenhouse near Edmonton International Airport.

The Edmonton-based producer said the processing facility will enhance Aurora’s capacity to develop and produce its own high-margin edible products lines. Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley told Yahoo Finance Canada the move does not signal the company has closed the door on striking a partnership with large beverage and food companies.

“That actually enhances our attractiveness to partners in different verticals,” Battley said in an interview on Tuesday. “We have been, as previously indicated, in discussions with different players from different mature industries. And we will continue to have those discussions.”

Last year, BNN Bloomberg reported that Aurora was in “serious talks” with the Coca-Cola Company (KO) about developing a cannabidiol-infused beverage. Coke and Aurora, in separate statements, said they were interested in CBD drinks but could not comment on market speculation.

Asked if Aurora Polaris would produce products in partnership with other companies, Battle said he could not speak to that in detail.

“Things move very quickly in this business,” he said.

“Our product development team has a built a deep and exciting pipeline of new high value products,” Aurora Chief Executive Office Terry Booth wrote in a news release on Tuesday. “We look forward to servicing our markets with the next generation of cannabis innovations”

Battley said Aurora has received “very sage council from the United States to be patient not to rush into partnerships.” He said the company’s rising value will yield more favourable terms down the road, and expressed desire to “potentially participate in multiple verticals.”

“Given the number of industries that cannabis, medical and consumer, either disrupts or enhances, we think that this is very good and very wise council,” he said.

Aurora reported second-quarter results after the closing bell on Monday.

Net revenues surged to $54.2 million in the first full quarter after legalized recreational sales in Canada. The company said the loss attributable to common shareholders equalled $237.7 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, compared with a profit of $7.7 million or two cents per share a year earlier.

Toronto-listed Aurora shares climbed 2.95 per cent to $9.78 at 12:31 p.m. ET.

Download the Yahoo Finance app, available for Apple and Android.