Aurora Sky Site Tour: Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSE:ACB) Pioneers a New Way to Grow Cannabis
Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSE:ACB) (NYSE:ACB) (FRA:21P) CCO Cam Battley guides viewers through the company’s innovative new facility, Aurora Sky. Aurora Sky has 17 flower rooms, each bigger than the 32,000 square foot Aurora Mountain, the company’s first production facility. Aurora Sky’s flower rooms provide 578,000 square feet of growing space and its innovative crane and conveyor technology ensure that every square foot of that space is available for growing, as walkways have been eliminated at the facility. Aurora Sky is not a greenhouse; rather, it is a sophisticated indoor growing operation with a state-of-the-art glass roof, which ensures plants receive optimal light. Aurora is currently operating in 23 countries worldwide and the Aurora Sky facility will help the company meet its annual production target of 500,000 kilograms of cannabis by 2020.
Cam Battley, CCO: This is a very, very different kind of facility. It’s not a greenhouse. It’s an indoor facility with a glass roof that allows us to harness the power of the sun. 17 flower rooms in Aurora Sky, all equal size, 34,000 square feet, and interestingly enough our first production facility north of Calgary, Aurora Mountain had 32,000 square feet of flower space. So, each of the 17 rooms we have here is larger than the first facility that we built when we began to sell medical cannabis in Canada.
So, this is the mother room. In the room right now, we’ve got anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 mother plants. It’s from the mother plants that we take the cuttings and create the clones. We have 30,000 clones in Sky at the moment, covering each of the eight strains that we’re currently growing.
Should we need to inspect any plants, we use exactly the same technology to harvest the plants. So, when these beautiful young plants which are only about a week and a half old, are 8 weeks old, they’ll be about this high and we will use the cranes to pick up the entire tables, take them into the central corridor, deposit them on the conveyor, and the conveyor will take them down 750 meters to the harvest area.
There are no walkways and we’ve reclaimed all of that space and that’s part of the secret to having the highest production efficiency per square foot in the global cannabis industry.
At our first production facility, Aurora Mountain, we have 125 people working there. Aurora Sky is 20 times the size in terms of production and we only have 400 people working here. This is likely the cleanest air you’ve ever breathed. The HVAC system that supports Aurora Sky is the most powerful you’ve ever seen and it has to be. All of this facility is automated to the point where depending on changing weather conditions, it automatically adjusts with the shades and the lights to ensure that the optimal amount of light reaches every part of the canopy. The glass itself is very special. It diffuses the light so that when the sun is directly overhead if you stick your hand out you will not get a distinct shadow. There’s nothing like this technology anywhere in the world. We’ve invented, I think, 21st-century cannabis production.
What we’re going to do is take this globally and you know, we’re already operating in 23 countries around the world with more to come. By the beginning of 2020, we’re targeting having in excess of 500,000 kilograms or 500 million grams of cannabis production per year.
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