Aurora Cannabis targets European expansion with acquisition in Portugal

Edmonton, Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis advanced its strategy to attain “early mover advantage” in countries with nascent medical marijuana markets with an agreement to acquire a majority interest in a Portuguese license applicant.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aurora will acquire a 51% ownership stake in Gaia Pharm – based in Funchal – to establish a local facility to produce medical cannabis and derivative products, increasing Aurora’s footprint to 24 countries.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gaia Pharm will be renamed Aurora Portugal.

The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2020 and is expected to have a production capacity of approximately 2,000 kilograms (4,409 pounds) per year, growing to 4,000 kilograms per year upon completion of the second phase.

New Portuguese regulations enacted Jan. 15 permit the distribution of prescribed medical cannabis to patients and other European Union member countries where medical cannabis is legal.

Another Canadian company, Tilray, also is heavily invested in a Portuguese medical cannabis production facility.

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