Shares in Aurora Cannabis Inc. fell to their lowest level in more than two years Monday after the announcement on the weekend that Cam Battley had suddenly stepped down as chief corporate officer.
The stock fell by about 9.8 per cent to as low as $2.66 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, down from its $2.95 close on Friday and at a fraction of its 52-week high of $13.57 last March.
In a news release Saturday, the company says Battley has stepped away from his role without specifically saying why, although it points out he was appointed to MedReleaf Australia’s board in November.
It says the appointment has been approved by Australian authorities and notes MedReleaf Australia is a privately held medical cannabis company in which Aurora has a 10 per cent stake as well as 50 per cent voting rights.
Battley, often the public face for investors in Edmonton-based Aurora, was credited in the release for being critical to the early success and international growth of the company after joining in 2016.
Analysts have blamed recent steep declines in cannabis company shares on falling recreational sales in Canada due to high inventory levels, noting the market hasn’t grown as much as expected since recreational pot became legal in 2018.
“Our roots run deep, and Cam has been an integral part of the development, growth and expansion of Aurora,” said Aurora CEO Terry Booth in the release.
“We are grateful for Cam’s leadership and passion over his many years with Aurora. I am sure Cam will be successful as he moves on to tackle Australia.”