News nugs: Aurora announces mega-facility, Aphria launches rec brand, and Canopy invests in Civilized

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      It's been a busy few days for three of Canada's biggest licensed producers.

      On Monday (April 16), Vancouver-based licensed producer Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced it had acquired 29 hectares of land in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where it plans to construct its newest facility, Aurora Sun. (The greenhouse gets its name from Medicine Hat's status as Canada's sunniest city, with more than 2,500 hours of sunlight per year. Sounds nice.)

      At 1.2 million square feet, Aurora Sun will be about the size of 21 football fields, and 50 percent larger than Aurora Sky, the producer's unfinished licensed facility near Edmonton International Airport currently nearing completion. 

      The new facility in Medicine Hat will put Aurora's total growing capacity at more than 430,000 kilograms of cannabis per year.

      Yesterday, another prominent producer announced its first brand created specifically for Canada's recreational cannabis users. Aphria Inc. says its line of Solei Sungrown Cannabis products "has been designed to demistify cannabis" by creating cultivars (strains) and preparations geared to certain experiences.

      "Solei was developed to offer a thoughtfully curated assortment of strains, presented with uncomplicated language," said Megan McCrae, Aphria's vice president of marketing and communications in an April 17 new release

      While the name of Aurora's new venture is based on location, the Solei brand gets its name because all products are grown in greenhouses at Aphria's facility in Leamington, Ontario.

      Meanwhile, Saint John/L.A.-based cannabis media brand Civilized announced yesterday that it would collaborate with Canopy Rivers Corporation, an affiliate of Canada's largest licensed producer, Canopy Growth Corporation.

      Investing $5 million in Civilized, Canopy will help bring new elements to the brand, including a video content network and an events platform.

      "This is a game-changing partnership for Civilized," said Derek Riedle, CEO and publisher of Civilized in a news release.

      "No other industry has the high growth potential of cannabis, and we believe that high-quality media can help accelerate the development of this industry by sharing stories, ideas and information that's been more or less forbidden for the better part of a century."