Canadian cannabis grower Aurora heads to Europe
A Canadian marijuana maker is set to sell cannabis in several European countries after striking a deal with Denmark's biggest tomato producer.
Aurora Cannabis is partnering with Alfred Pedersen & Son to produce cannabis for medical use in Europe.
The greenhouses used for tomatoes can be converted to grow the drug as both plants have similar growth needs.
The joint venture will focus on selling cannabis in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.
Aurora Nordic Cannabis will build a production facility that can produce up to 120,000kg of cannabis annually, Aurora said.
Alfred Pedersen was granted a licence to cultivate cannabis from Denmark's Medicines Agency this week.
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The drug has become legal in Denmark as part of a four-year trial, allowing patients with illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis to obtain cannabis on prescription. It remains illegal for recreational use.
Several countries have legalised medicinal marijuana, including Canada, Israel, Australia and more than half of US states.
California this week became the largest US state to make the drug legal for recreational use.
The Californian move sent shares in several Canadian cannabis firms soaring this week, including Aurora.
In July, Canada will become the second country to legalise recreational marijuana, following Uruguay.
Meanwhile, the Australian government said on Thursday it planned to become the fourth country in the world to legalise exports of medicinal marijuana.
It wants local firms to win a slice of a market expected to be worth almost $56bn a year by 2025, according to US-based Grand View Research.
Cannabis cultivation in Australia is still relatively small, as recreational use remains illegal. But the government hopes that both domestic medical marijuana use, which was legalised last year, as well as exports will rapidly boost production.
The announcement sent shares soaring in listed Australian cannabis producers, with Cann Group, AusCann Group and BOD Australia all rising more than 20% to record highs.
Uruguay, Canada and the Netherlands have legalised the export of medicinal marijuana, while Israel plans to follow suit later this year.
The Australian government's proposal must be approved by parliament when it returns next month, but the opposition Labor Party has signalled its support for the move.