Canada: World's biggest licensed cannabis facility gets green light to grow

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The world’s largest licensed cannabis facility just got the green light to start growing right outside of Edmonton.

Aurora Sky, the 800,000-square-foot greenhouse located on the Edmonton International Airport land, received its Health Canada cultivation licence Monday.

“We are excited as can be,” said Cam Battley, Chief Corporate Officer of Aurora Cannabis.

The greenhouse is still under construction but has several grow rooms prepared to get rolling as early as this week.

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“We are ready to start growing right away,” Battley said.

“We’re anticipating our first harvest in the second calendar quarter of this year, and completing the entire 800,000 square feet by this summer.”

At full capacity, Aurora Sky will produce more than 100,000 kg of cannabis per year.

By comparison, Aurora’s three other licensed Canadian facilities – including two in Quebec and one in Cremona, Alta. near Calgary – produce between 4,000 kg and 4,800 kg.

Aurora Sky is also the world's only cannabis facility to be built on the property of an international airport, which offers advantages like strong security, access to transportation and international customs, and less expensive power, water and gas.

Battley said it will also be the world’s most technologically advanced cannabis facility, using horticultural technologies never used together before in a single agricultural facility of any kind.

“This facility will be qualitatively different from anything that’s ever been built or operated before in the cannabis sector,” he said.

“The level of technology is unprecedented. This will be hands-down the most high-technology automated cannabis production facility in the world.”

Battley has said Aurora Sky will help meet growing demand for medical marijuana and position itself to supply recreational pot once legalization takes effect later this year.

Airport officials have said the facility will earn them money, help attract more businesses and bolster the region’s economy.

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