(Photo: Max Pixel)

Weed need may not be met

Cannabis executive says producers unlikely to meet demands of consumer market

An official with a large Canadian producer of medical cannabis is confident consumers will be adequately supplied come next July, but says production will need to be increased.

“Right now, the existing capacity and what is already envisioned will not be sufficient to meet the needs of the adult consumer market,” Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora Cannabis Inc., said in an interview Monday.

He has urged other companies to ramp up their production ahead of next July 1, when recreational marijuana is expected to be legalized.

“We need to expand our capacity right away simply to meet the demands of the rapidly growing medical cannabis system,” Battley said. “When the demand of the adult consumer system is layered on top of that, it’s a rush to build as much capacity as possible.”

Battley made the comments on the same day that Aurora (TSX:ACB) began trading common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Alberta-based Aurora, one of several producers now listed on the TSX, is building what it describes as the world’s largest cannabis production facility at Edmonton International Airport.

Battley said Canada has a well-developed and successful medical cannabis system.

“This is a coming of age, not just for Aurora, but for the cannabis sector and what we’re seeing now is that Canada has established itself as the world leader in a brand new emerging industry that we are literally inventing in real time,” he said.

Battley added that officials from around the world have been coming to his facility in Alberta to visit and to learn how Canada has been so successful both on the medical side and on the consumer side.

“There’s something very big happening and it’s a global movement and it is being led out of Canada.”

Jordan Sinclair, director of communications for Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), another major medical cannabis producer, agrees.

“There’s no doubt that we already are …that Canada is the global leader in cannabis on the medical side certainly,” he said.

“The demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down on the medical side of things and then with recreation, obviously that’s a massive market opportunity.”

Sinclair pointed out that Canopy, whose headquarters are in a former Hershey chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, southwest of Ottawa, was first listed on the big board of the TSX in July 2016.

“We’re very proud to have done that before anyone else in the country,” he added. “It does seem like now the pace is speeding up with other companies following in our footsteps (and) it signals that there is credibility across the sector.”

On its website, Health Canada says there are 52 authorized licensed producers of cannabis for medical purposes.

Ontario has issued 29 licences, followed by British Columbia with 12.

Peter Rakobowchuk, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Vernon students give the gift of life

Student encourage classmates to become life-long blood donors

Society offers up Christmas dinner

Vernon’s Together For Christmas looks after homeless, poor and those alone and lonely on Dec. 25

Arrest made in lotto ticket thefts

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP helped by observant public

B.C. Conservatives applaud Site C decision

B.C. Conservatives happy with government decision to proceed

Vernon civic candidate signage rules relaxed

Candidates permitted to post unlimited signs on public property

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

B.C. dog owners warn about chain collars after puppy almost strangled

Young Rottweiler pup couldn’t breathe after another dog caught tooth on his collar

Kamloops RCMP hunt for sexual assault suspect

Police are asking for your help locating Dolapo Ibukun Babatunde

Accused NYC subway bomber expected to face federal charges

Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged Tuesday with terrorism and weapons related charges

Strategy announced for Indigenous cancer care

Various stakeholders have come together to provide a road map from prevention to survivorship

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Vernon family gives back for Christmas with contest

A local family is gearing up to spread holiday cheer to children around the world

Okanagan Symphony rings in holiday tradition

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents Ringing in the Season Dec. 21 Vernon, 22 Kelowna, 23 Penticton

Hwy. 1 avalanche improvements promise less delays

B.C.’s new remote avalanche-control systems near Revelstoke are ready for avalanche season

Most Read