Aurora Cannabis Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary MedReleaf, have entered into additional supply arrangements with a number of provinces across Canada to supply a broad range of dried flower and higher margin products, such as pre-rolls, oils and capsules. In addition to supplying adult-consumer use markets in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, the Company is pleased to advise of arrangements with Yukon, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Aurora and MedReleaf brands are expected to have a strong presence across Canada, positioning the Company well for rapid growth in the upcoming adult use market.
Appointment Darren Karasiuk, EVP of Adult Usage, Global
The Company also announces the appointment of Darren Karasiuk as its new Executive Vice President of Adult Usage, Global. Mr. Karasiuk will be responsible for the execution of Aurora's commercial adult use strategy, which includes oversight of adult use retail, marketing, sales, business intelligence and analytics, partnerships and customer service.
Mr. Karasiuk joins Aurora through the acquisition of MedReleaf where he was Senior Vice-President and GM, recreational where he was responsible for MedReleaf's adult use cannabis business which included the development and introduction of the AltaVie and San Rafael '71 brands into the marketplace, as well as the stewardship of the partnership with the Woodstock Cannabis Company.
Mr. Karasiuk has deep experience in highly regulated industries, including private and public healthcare, pharma, tobacco, consumer packaged goods, and energy. Prior to joining MedReleaf, Mr. Karasiuk was Vice-President, Insights and Advisory at Deloitte where he was a leader in the firm's cannabis practice, co-authoring the firm's seminal study, "Recreational Marijuana: Insights and Opportunities." Previously, Mr. Karasiuk was Vice-President, Strategy, Corporate and Public Affairs at Environics Research, where he conducted many of Canada's earliest engagements on the cannabis sector. He has also been the Canadian associate for the Marijuana Policy Group, a leading Denver-based economic and policy consulting firm which helped shape the regulated medical and recreational cannabis markets. Mr. Karasiuk holds an MA from Western University and an MBA from Kellogg-Schulich.
"We have now secured important supply arrangements from coast to coast, covering approximately 98% of the Canadian population, reflecting the scale and quality of our operations," said Terry Booth, CEO. "We will supply a large number of products to the adult use market, including dried flower, and higher margin form factors, such as capsules, oils, and pre-rolls. We are also exceptionally pleased that Darren has agreed to join our team and take on the leadership of Aurora's adult usage business. His expertise in market development within heavily regulated environments, his track record in bringing adult usage brands to market, and his connections and credibility throughout the industry are invaluable assets for us. We welcome Darren and look forward to working closely with him as Aurora rises to new heights."
Mr. Karasiuk added, "Aurora is an exceptional company, innovating and executing at the most rapid pace in the industry. The strengths of both companies – high-volume, low-cost cultivation capacity, product quality, brands and people - position us well to grow rapidly in these new and exciting markets. I look forward to being part of the team."
Granting of Stock Options and Restricted Share Units to Officers
The Company also announced today that it has granted an aggregate of 205,000 stock options and 55,000 restricted share units to officers of the Company. The stock options are exercisable at a price of $8.54 per share for a period of five years from the date of grant. Both options and RSUs vest annually over 36 months.