Canopy Growth made waves with the announcement in January that it's building a large-scale hemp production facility in New York State. The company expects to have hemp cannabidiol (CBD) products on the market by the end of this year. Tilray jumped head first into the hemp market soon after Canopy's announcement with its acquisition of Manitoba Harvest, the leading hemp foods company in North America.
But what about Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB)? You might not have heard very much about the company's hemp CBD efforts lately. However, there's a pretty good argument to be made that Aurora just might emerge as the king of hemp CBD.
Aurora's impressive hemp creds
If you're looking for impressive credentials in hemp, Aurora's got 'em. Back in 2017, the company invested in Hempco, a Vancouver-based maker of hemp-based foods, hemp fiber, and hemp nutraceuticals. Hempco also supplied Aurora with raw hemp for extracting CBD.
This relationship gave Aurora a chance to get to know Hempco very well. And it led to Aurora announcing three months ago that it was acquiring all of Hempco. With Hempco expanding its capacity to be able to produce 2.9 million kilograms of cannabis annually, the deal gives Aurora a solid launching pad for the North American hemp CBD and industrial hemp markets.
Aurora took several major steps to build up its global hemp business in 2018. The company acquired Agropro, Europe's largest producer, processor, and supplier of certified organic hemp and hemp products. At the same time, Aurora acquired Agropro's sister company Borela, which processes and distributes organic hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, hemp flour, and hemp seed oil.