At 800,000-square-feet, the Aurora Sky facility being built by Aurora Cannabis at the Edmonton International Airport is poised to be the largest licensed cannabis facility in the world.
It is a big bet by the company as Canada moves towards legalized marijuana, but not the only one Aurora is making in Edmonton.
“Aurora Cannabis is headquartered in Edmonton. This is our world headquarters,” said Cam Battley, the Chief Corporate Officer of Aurora.
“Edmonton is a great place to do business.”
Battley says part of the reason Edmonton was chosen is because the company’s founder is from here, but friendly business policies from the provincial government played a role too.
Along with housing employees at its EIA facility, the company has acquired office space in the city’s downtown, and plans to employ more than 400 people in Edmonton this year, with hopes of growing its footprint even further in the years ahead.
“We’re hoping to attract additional investment from the cannabis sector, new companies, new investment, new employment, and making all that happen here in Edmonton.”
Kyle Murray at the School of Retailing at the University of Alberta says attracting this head office is quite a coup, and helps showcase the city to other companies in the industry.
“I think with the university here, with the land we have, with the infrastructure that we have, we’re actually pretty well suited to that kind of operation.”
Aurora Cannabis also announced Monday it has acquired a 19.9 per cent stake in Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., which owns brands like Liquor Barn and Wine and Beyond, with a plan to build or convert a number of existing liquor store locations into stand alone cannabis retail locations.
Aurora Cannabis also operates a 55,000-square-foot cannabis facility in Cremona, just north of Calgary, and two other facilities in Quebec.
The company is also working on expanding into Europe.