As recreational marijuana moves beyond buds, and countries besides Canada mull legalization, cannabis companies have a lot of potential roads to travel as they seek to grow.
Aurora Cannabis Inc. ACB, -0.45% ACB, -0.08% , the second-most valuable marijuana producer in the world, is establishing a different path than some of its rivals in the marijuana industry. It has yet to purchase U.S. marijuana assets, as Canopy Growth Corp. CGC, -1.14% WEED, -1.24% has done, nor signed on a major U.S.-based partner like Cronos Group Inc. CRON, -0.46% CRON, -0.78% has, nor pushed hard at CBD and hemp, like Tilray Inc. TLRY, -0.95% .
After Aurora’s fiscal third-quarter earnings late Tuesday and a conference call Wednesday morning, MarketWatch talked with Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley about what the company sees as opportunities in cannabis, and where it’s taking a different approach than some of its rivals. Here is how Battley and Chief Executive Terry Booth, who spoke in the conference call, outlined their thinking on the future.
Entering the U.S.
Booth said in the conference call Wednesday that even if the U.S. were to legalize marijuana federally today, it would take years before the country would be able to ramp supply and solve the issues that Canada has grappled with since recreational pot became legal there in October.
If federal legalization in the U.S. does occur, it would be important to eliminate the barriers moving product between states. “If they don’t erase the state-to-state line, then it’s a very difficult market to operate at scale in,” Booth said in the conference call. “The [multistate operators] have small facilities in various states. That’s not the Aurora way … If they erase the state lines, it becomes a massive opportunity.”
Booth pointed to Nevada specifically as the best state for a U.S. company to enter, in large part because of its licensing system and the amount of retail product that’s available. Australis Capital Inc. AUSAF, +5.45% ,