Aurora Cannabis cutting 8% of workforce, closing facility in Edmonton

Aurora Cannabis is closing its manufacturing facility at Edmonton International Airport, a move that is expected to impact approximately 8% of its global workforce, the company confirmed in an email to MJBizDaily.

The Aurora Polaris facility officially opened in January after being scheduled for completion “in late 2019,” according to regulatory filings.

The planned closure was first reported by Reuters.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” the company said via email. “After painstaking review and thorough consideration, we are taking the necessary steps to strengthen our core operations to meet current and future demand.

“We aspire to be a leaner, more agile organization that keeps pace with our competition and is on a path to profitability. We believe these changes are imperative for our future success.”

Medical distribution from Polaris will move to an adjacent facility, Aurora Sky, and manufacturing from the site will be shifted to the Aurora River facility in Bradford, Ontario.

A spokesperson would not say how many workers could lose their jobs.

Aurora is identifying opportunities to move some of the affected employees elsewhere in the organization.

“While we’ve made substantial progress transforming Aurora, the company continues to make tough yet responsible changes to further optimize our business,” the email noted. “While our Aurora Sky facility will continue to operate, we will be closing Aurora Polaris.”

The closure, which will happen in three phases, is the latest blow to Aurora, which has shuttered a number of facilities in the past year.

Aurora put its mammoth 1.7 million-square-foot greenhouse on the sales block in March.

Polaris has been manufacturing products such as chocolates, gummies and pre-rolls.

Canadians purchased 109 million Canadian dollars ($87 million) worth of cannabis edibles in 2020, the first full year they were available in the country, according to data recently published by Statistics Canada.

In August, licensed cannabis producer Indiva said it held the No. 1 market position for edibles in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, citing data from analytics firm Hifyre.

Earlier this week, Aurora postponed the release of its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year to after market close on Sept. 27.

A conference call to discuss the results will take place that day at 5. p.m. ET.

Shares of Aurora trade as ACB on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.

Matt Lamers can be reached at