Aurora CEO Miguel Martin answered some tough questions from Marijuana Business Daily last week about lost market share in the adult-use market in Canada, what previous management was thinking when they built so much production capacity and how he plans to turn things around.
Progress on the “business transformation plan”
Since taking over in September of 2020, Miguel has overseen more layoffs and cultivation facility sales/closures due to disappointing sales in the adult-use market — all remotely from Richmond, Virginia.
“…we’re in the midst of doing that,” he told MJ Biz. “Would I like that to happen sooner? I would.”
On what’s going well…
Martin acknowledged that there’s not much money to be made in discount cannabis, he says there are opportunities in premium categories and extracts. He also said the company is #1 in Canada’s medical cannabis market, and claimed that internationally, “we’re probably doing better than any other Canadian LP.”
He also talked up the company’s genetics library through its acquisition of Anandia and MedReleaf (and upset some fans of smaller cannabis operations earlier last week when he told Insider, “There’s going to be a cannabis company that looks more like Monsanto”).
On the vast cultivation facilities…
Martin said he’s never asked previous execs why they spent so much money building out now-shuttered cultivation facilities, but he theorized on the factors came into play: valuations pegged to production potential, retail investors, the myth of a large international export market and billions coming from Constellation and Altria (to competitors), to name a few.
“When that’s all happening, and you’re in the frenzy, I can get it.”