Earlier this week, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX: ACB) (Nasdaq: ACB) announced a major milestone by completing the initial shipment of cannabis to the French medical cannabis pilot program. The shipment was completed by the company’s subsidiary, Aurora Germany GmbH, and the program is expected to get started in the coming weeks.
The development comes a few months after Aurora and Ethypharm were selected by the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) to supply the entire medical cannabis dried flower range (three lots of the tender) to French patients during the pilot program.
The completion of the initial shipment satisfies Aurora and Ethypharm’s obligation as the primary provider of dried medical cannabis and we are favorable on this accomplishment. When it comes to the international cannabis market, Aurora is well positioned to capitalize on the European Union (EU) because its state-of-the-art production facility meets EU Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) requirements.
Several burgeoning international cannabis markets have require that cannabis production facilities meet EU GMP standards. The requirement in these markets raises the barrier to entry for operators and we prefer operators that own EU GMP compliant production facilities.
Aurora Nordic is the company’s EU GMP Denmark based production facility and we expect the asset to play an important role in the growth of the international business. The medical cannabis that will be supplied to patients and healthcare professionals that are a part of the pilot program facility will be sourced from Aurora Nordic and we will monitor how this aspect of the business evolves over time.
Aurora’s management team expects the pilot program to support the de-stigmatization of medical cannabis in France. The company has been able to enter strategic emerging international medical cannabis markets and we expect the vertical to serve as a significant growth drive in the coming years.
If Aurora can execute on the pilot program, it could be the catalyst behind the opening of one of the largest regulated medical cannabis markets in the EU. Going forward, the name of the game for Aurora is execution and we will monitor how the new management team is able to turn the business around.
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