PPP Sits Down with Aurora Cannabis CCO Cam Battley and Talks Canadian Marijuana and the Industry’s Future
September 7th marked this years annual Grow Up conference, held in Niagra Falls, Ontario. This years conference featured over 100 speakers and over 200 exhibitors, giving it the honor of being the largest one yet.
Familiar faces such as Kevin O’Leary and many of the industry finest showed up to celebrate the birth of a legal industry. PPP correspondent, Phil Wong sat down with Aurora Cannabis CCO Cam Battley to talk Canadian marijuana and the future of the cannabis industry in Canada.
Cam Battley of Aurora Cannabis on Grow Up
It was not so long ago that Canadian Marijuana enthusiasts could not legally gather in celebration of their passion for cannabis. With legalization fast approaching, Cam Battley of Aurora Cannabis expressed warm sentiments towards Grow Up and its ability to unite the Canadian marijuana community.
“It brings together so seamlessly and effectively the cannabis community and the cannabis businesses.”
It turns out, Aurora Cannabis is at the forefront of a global revolution. Justin Trudeau’s historic decision to end over 100 years of prohibition makes Canada only the second country to do so after Uruguay. Cam Battley is leading the charge in this burgeoning sector of the market, establishing Aurora Cannabis as a global leader in cannabis.
With so much opportunity and uncertainty, many would assume that the Canadian marijuana industry would be a cutthroat one. However, Aurora Cannabis CCO Cam Battley sees it differently. Battley views Grow Up as a reminder that the Canadian marijuana community been through a lot together to get to this point. With this shared experience comes a sort of closeness.
“It (Grow Up) reminds us that we are in effect a family. So it creates a sense of unity and that is needed right now”
The Road Ahead For the Canadian Marijuana Community and Aurora Cannabis
Legalization in October brings the Canadian marijuana community one step closer to its long sought-after goal. However, the work is not over just yet. For Cam Battley once legalization happens, it is time for Aurora Cannabis to shoulder the lion’s share of the work.
“We hare such big things to accomplish with this project of consumer legalization”
The Canadian government has elected to allow the provinces maximum freedom to decide what sort of cannabis economy they wish to adopt. Beyond broad regulations such as a minimum legal age, certain Impaired Driving Laws and a few others, provincial governments are essentially in the driver’s seat.
This will pose a unique challenge for the establishment of a domestic cannabis retail market. Government-owned and operated economies such as Quebec will be rather difficult for the private retail market to penetrate in any meaningful way. However, in the privatized marijuana markets of Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba, it is the private sector that is to be entrusted with the future of Canadian marijuana.
Winning Over the Nay Sayers
While Canada is going green, not everyone is on board. Another integral struggle of Canada’s cannabis community will be to win over those with reservations about the industry.
Some figures state that as many as 35% of Canadians are still opposed to legalization. With the Trudeau government working its hardest to get the conservative opposition on board by shoring up the enforcement side of things, cannabis companies must now do their part to win over those who still doubt the viability of Canadian cannabis.
One aspect of this process is creating safe and pleasurable products that will bring virgin marijuana consumers into the fold. However, a second task according to Battley, will be to show doubters that this industry has unrivaled potential to rake in profits.
“I think that you’re going to see people’s eyes opened who haven’t gotten into this industry just yet, as to how big this is”
Canadian Cannabis Goes Global
Cannabis is a young industry that is full of yet to be seized opportunity. Countries who are earliest to the dance of legalization will see their corporations get the date with the global market. Aurora Cannabis is aware of this and Cam Battley sees global expansion as the next logical step for his company. He calls it, “the project of building a global cannabis business”.
Canadian legalization is the struggle of today, global legalization is the struggle of tomorrow. Cam has his sights set on the future and is aware of the massive opportunity that awaits.
“The real opportunity, the major economic opportunity for leading companies like Aurora and Canopy is the global opportunity”
The company recently acquired ICC Labs, a company that owns 70% of Uruguay’s cannabis production. Uruguay is currently the only country to have legalized cannabis. With inexpensive production and a wealth of experience in legal cannabis, the Canadian company is planning 2 steps ahead of the competition and setting itself up to be the world’s marijuana supplier.
So how big is this global opportunity exactly?
“We’re looking at a market in Canada on the consumer side, of perhaps $10 billion a year. And then on the global medical side, perhaps 10 to 20 times that size”
How To Run a Cannabis Company Well
The Aurora Cannabis CCO holds his operation to the highest of standards. Despite the company’s bright and lucrative future, Cam Battley has not forgotten the essential attributes that have enabled their success thus far.
“You want to make sure that you establish a very strong brand. You want to make sure that you treat your customers well. You want to make sure that the quality of your product is high. That’s where Aurora is going to shine”
It appears that Canada will be in good hands come October. With such dedicated and enthusiastic ambassadors for Canadian cannabis, it appears it won’t be long before Canada is a global industry leader in marijuana.
Interview Conducted by Phil Wong
By: Stefan Hosko