Aurora was founded in 2006 by Terry Booth, Steve Dobler, Dale Lesack and Chris Mayerson. Booth and Dobler collectively invested over $5 million of their own capital. The founding group secured a 160+ acre parcel of land in Mountain View County, Alberta, where they established Aurora's first facility. The company received its license to grow cannabis in 2014, making it the first cannabis producer to obtain a federal license in that province. They decided to establish the company in Alberta due to comparatively low corporate tax rates and an ideal farm credit program. On November 27, 2014, Health Canada issued Aurora's first license to sell medical cannabis. Since then they have built, and are operating, numerous growing facilities throughout Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Oceania. On January 10, 2017, Aurora received a license from Health Canada to sell cannabis oils, having been granted a license to produce the oils in February 2016. Sales of four product lines of cannabis oils commenced in April, 2017.
After legalization in Canada - October 2018
Canada legalized the retail sale of cannabis nationally on October 17, 2018. Due to its significant capital investments, particularly in large growing facilities, Aurora had about 20% of the Canadian retail market for cannabis during early 2019.At its year-end in June 2019, Aurora had a market capitalization of US$4.8 billion. An October 2019 report stated that cannabis stocks had "crumbled to their lowest level since 2017"; Aurora shares were also at a two year low. The fall in stock price for Aurora and other Canadian cannabis stocks in late 2019 was attributed to the missed benchmark revenues, general lack of profitability in the industry, slow rollout of retail stores in Canada, rise in vaping-related illnesses, non-competitiveness of pricing with black market cannabis, oversupply of commercial cannabis, termination of capital expenditures, and an FDA warning that cannabidiol may cause liver injury, among others.
Public trading and acquisitions
Aurora became a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange on July 24, 2017, and on the New York Stock Exchange on October 23, 2018.Aurora grew through several acquisitions. By 2018, Aurora's subsidiaries included Pedanios GmbH , CanvasRx , BC Northern Lights , Aurora-Larssen Projects , and H2 Biopharma By April 2018, the company had a market value of Can$4.5 billion; revenue in 2017 totaled Can$31.1 million. At the time, the company was concluding its takeover merger of previous competitor CanniMed Therapeutics. The takeover was finalized in January 2018, based on a Can$1.1 billion deal. The subsequent plan to purchase MedReleaf was expected to make the company the largest in Canada with a market capitalization of approximately $7 billion. Competitor Canopy Growth Corporation's market value exceeded that amount by $3.7 billion, however after a partial takeover by Constellation Brands was announced in late August 2018. By 24 September 2018, however, Tilray Inc., a portfolio company of Seattle-based Privateer Holdings, with growing facilities in Nanaimo, BC, had become the world's second most valuable cannabis company with a market capitalization of about US$10 billion.
A report in mid-September 2018 by BNN Bloomberg, stated that Coca-Cola was considering the development of cannabis-infused beverages for medical purposes and was in preliminary discussion with Aurora. Although Coke and Aurora then announced that they were merely studying the market, and had no plan to announce regarding the distribution of such products. Aurora's shares increased and its market cap reached US$10.71 billion on September 18, 2018. On 20 September 2018, Tilray had become the world's most valuable cannabis company, but a major drop in share price made it only the third largest, after Canopy Growth and Aurora.In September 2020, Aurora Cannabis reportedly lost more than Can$3.3 billion in its recently concluded fiscal year which caused shares to drop roughly 10% in after-hours trading. A major issue has been Aurora's focus on premium cannabis as it is more expensive for consumers.In May 2021, Aurora moved its U.S. listing from the NYSE to the Nasdaq.
Class action lawsuits in the United States
During the fourth quarter of 2019, several law firms in the United States announced class action lawsuits against Aurora, citing the abrupt decline in stock price, failure to complete planned capital investments, and missed revenue and profit forecasts by the company as misleading to public investors.
Status at end of 2019
During an interview in November 2019, CEO Terry Booth discussed the poor retail performance of the Canadian cannabis industry, saying that "carnage" was possible unless certain producers were able to reduce the cost of operations when oversupply existed. In December, two of Aurora's senior executives departed the company: Chief Global Business Development Officer, Neil Belot, and Chief Corporate Officer, Cam Battley, when the price of the company's stock had dropped 61% over 2019. During the fourth quarter of 2019, the company had suspended cannabis production in Denmark and at its greenhouses in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The company's 15,000-square-foot , non-operational, greenhouse in Exeter, Ontario was also listed for sale. This was part of the goal to "reduce its expenses and boost its cash balance after a series of weak quarters," according to a news report. The company's second quarter report indicated a loss of US $981 million.Aurora claimed it had reduced the cost of producing cannabis to $0.85 per gram, when the national retail price of cannabis in Canada was $7.37 per gram. In December, Aurora announced its release of products for "Cannabis 2.0" – the retail market for edible cannabis products – to include gummies, chocolates, baked goods, and mints.
Ananth Krishnan (VP of Capital Markets & Investor Relations)
Ms. Lori Schick (Exec. VP of HR)
Mr. Andre Jerome (Exec. VP of Global Bus. Devel.)
Mr. Carey Squires (Exec. VP of Corp. Devel. & Strategy)
Mr. Nathalie Clark (Exec. VP, Gen. Counsel & Corp. Sec.)
Michelle Lefler (VP of Communications & PR)
Mr. John Barnet (Chief Cultivator)
Recognition and Awards
Mr. Miguel Martin (CEO & Director)
Mr. Glen Ibbott (Chief Financial Officer)
Mr. Alex Miller (Exec. VP of Operations & Supply Chain)