Miguel Martin, CEO of Aurora Cannabis Inc ACB, discussed growing Aurora into the leader of the international medical cannabis market at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Wednesday.
International Markets: Martin said Aurora currently has a 23% market share in the Canadian medicinal cannabis business, where it enjoys margins of about 62% compared to margins in the low 30s for Canadian recreational cannabis sales.
“At least in the short-term the growth globally, at least from a profit standpoint, is all around medical cannabis,” Martin said.
Aurora operates in 12 countries and holds number one or number two positions in many of those countries.
“I know we’re all consumed with what’s happening here in the U.S., and that’s a big part, but I would encourage you to spend time on what’s happening in Germany or Israel or France or the U.K. or even now the Netherlands, which is a $2.5 billion market that’s equally the size of Canada,” he said.
Martin said a big part of the challenge for Aurora and other medical cannabis producers is educating physicians on the benefits of cannabis and how best to prescribe it to patients.
“What we’re really excited about is around the world you’re seeing a real growth in clinical research around the efficacy for those clinicians and physicians that are looking for that type of hard science for their patients,” he said.
Biosynthetics: Right now, Aurora works with flower and extracts, but Martin said he is really excited about the opportunity in biosynthetics.
“We were able to purchase a company that has what we believe is some of the most cutting-edge biosynthetic IP assets both in the plant and outside of the plant,” he said.
“Obviously the very famous Epidiolex drug we see, which is an isolate-based product in the U.S., lends itself to the isolation of those molecules having significant economics,” Martin said.
Epidiolex was the first drug ever approved by the FDA in 2018 that is derived from marijuana. It’s parent company G.W. Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC JAZZ in 2021 for $7.2 billion.
“The minor cannabinoids, which we don’t talk a lot about, whether it’s CBG or CBN or CBA, the economics and the extraction of them right now is fairly prohibitive. Biosynthetics really opens up significant economics, both domestically and internationally, around those minor cannabinoids,” Martin said.
Financial Outlook: From a business perspective, Martin says Aurora is still on track to hit its goal of becoming EBITDA-positive by the end of the year.
“I’m here to recommit to that EBITDA-positive by adding, by the end of our fiscal year, we’re absolutely confident that we’re going to be in good position to not only meet that but also be able to grow.”
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