Medicine Hat News

Aurora CEO sees promise in cannabis industry, despite tough year


The cannabis industry might be closing out a year full of massive cuts, but Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s chief executive says there is still plenty of money to be made in the pot business.

“We’re gonna have to get through the right-sizing of these companies and that kind of transition,” said Miguel Martin in an interview.

“But no one should look at the overall economics of the cannabis business and think that it’s not healthy or think that there’s not great opportunit­ies, for companies that are run well, to be successful.”

Martin’s remarks come as he nears three months in

Aurora’s top job.

He took over the Edmonton-based company from interim chief executive Michael Singer in September, just as Aurora was bracing itself to record up to $1.8 billion worth of goodwill impairment charges.

By then, the company had spent much of 2020 restructur­ing by cutting hundreds of workers, closing facilities and saying goodbye to Terry Booth, its former chief executive who had been with Aurora since 2013.

Martin managed to nab his job after running Aurora’s U.S. cannabidio­l company Reliva and becoming chief commercial offer for its parent company in the summer.

Now, he says the cannabis industry is going through a reckoning.

“You have to separate what people thought the business was going to be with what it really is,” he said.

Looking back at least a year and a half ago, he said most cannabis companies had “irrational­ly exuberant expectatio­ns.”

They wanted to build as much production capacity as possible, so that they could create any amount and quality of cannabis to be sold in Canada and around the world.

“There really was no wrong the company could do ... and what people learned pretty quickly was that that wasn’t the case,” he said.

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