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Canopy vs. Aurora

Fast Company: How Canopy Growth became the Jolly Green Giant of cannabis.

Terry Booth, the CEO of Aurora, offered his unfiltered comments:

[...] in the year or so leading up to nationwide legalization, Canopy’s publicly traded “Big 5” rivals–Aurora, Tilray, Cronos, and Aphria–had dramatically boosted their capacity and seen their market caps surge well into unicorn territory. “Bruce’s problem is he underestimated us,” says Aurora’s famously salty CEO, Terry Booth, outside an industry mixer during MJBizCon, the annual cannabis gathering, in Las Vegas in November. The companies applied for medical cultivation licenses at the same time, but Canopy got its license first, and grew faster. Aurora stayed nimble, saving up for late-stage acquisitions that have helped it catch up with its rival: In quarterly reports released in November, Aurora showed net earnings of $77.6 million (260% revenue growth), while Canopy, whose results were too early to reflect recreational sales, had a $247 million net loss. “Bruce bought new. He threw a fucking chocolate factory into it [with the Smiths Falls operation]. Then he got a little bit bigger, kinda like a station wagon. Then he turned it into a soccer van–and now it is a fucking school bus. And we’re in a Lambo, saying, ‘Adios, muchachos!’ ”

(Laughs.) There's no question that Canopy and Aurora are fighting for the crown in 2019. By February of next year, we'll have the yearly revenue numbers for both companies. Considering that Canopy has $4 billion in the bank and a market capitalization of nearly $20 billion, it would be shocking if they didn't have the highest top line.

Also, Aurora got to their position today by taking over CanniMed and MedReleaf which together cost them $4.2 billion in stock in the past 10 months. Canopy hasn't bought any established licensed producer of cannabis in two years. If they do, then game over for Aurora.


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