Aurora Cannabis (CSE:ACB) (OTC:PSNTF) shares jumped 22 percent after it was granted a federal license to produce medical marijuana under Health Canada's MMPR regime instituted last year.
The company said the license will allow it to begin production of medical cannabis in its expandable 55,200 square foot facility located on 160 acres in Mountain View County, Alberta.
The facility is one of the largest of its kind in Canada, according to Aurora, and is capable of growing up to 8,000 kilograms of marijuana per year. Aurora says it has aggressive expansion plans, and sees the site as an opportunity to identify optimal production strategies to be put into place in future locations across Canada.
"With the team we have assembled and our first facility now complete, I believe we have a very bright future in this industry," said chief executive officer Terry Booth. "We look forward to working with Health Canada focusing on compliance with the high quality standards that the supply of Medical Cannabis requires."
The company is the first to obtain an MMPR producer's license in Alberta, where the total cost of the facility has been estimated at $10.5 million.
Canada's new MMPR (Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations) program was developed to replace the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations (MMAR) license regime, which had proven difficult to monitor owing to the many thousands of small-scale growers it covered. The idea behind MMPR, which was introduced last April, was to put licensed growing into the hands of a much smaller number of large commercial operations.
"Being nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains not only allows for a never ending supply of clean, pure mountain fed water but also close proximity to Olds College. Olds College is the largest agricultural College in Alberta and its graduates are approximately 25 percent of agricultural diploma recipients in Canada," the company said in its statement released earlier Friday.
Shares climbed 22 percent, or 11 cents, to 61 Canadian cents on the Canadian Securities Exchange on Friday.