In an effort to lower prices and increase supply, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB; TSX: ACB) is now joining the growing list of large-scale licensed producers adding outdoor grow operations to supplement their indoor greenhouse facilities. 

Today Aurora officially received Health Canada approval for cultivation sites in both Quebec and British Columbia as the company researches new growing techniques. 

Following the naming conventions of the company’s flagship indoor growing facilities, the new sites will be dubbed Aurora Valley, a 207-acre site in Westwold, British Columbia and Aurora Eau, a 21,000 sq. ft. location in LachuteQuebec. 

The latter site is now the first outdoor grow operation to receive Health Canada approval in Quebec. Cannabis has already been planted at that location, while planting will be underway at the Westwold site in the coming weeks. 

Discussing the two new sites, Aurora’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth commented:

Aurora believes in innovative operations and intensive research and we’re applying our approach to outdoor-grown cannabis. Our team plans to consistently grow the high-quality cannabis Aurora has become known for around the world. We’re proud to be a Canadian company and this is a further commitment to research and job creation in Canada.

That research will take place in conjunction with Aurora’s other new facility in Comox, British Columbia that is currently in the process of being constructed. Expected to be up and running by the fall of 2019, the location features a new laboratory where a plant breeding team will research cultivars specifically for growing in outdoor conditions. 

Aurora isn’t the only licensed producer testing large-scale outdoor operations in 2019 for increased usage in the next growing season. 

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED; NYSE: CGC) recently received Health Canada approval for outdoor growing in Saskatchewan, while CannTrust Holdings Inc. (TSX: TRST; NYSE: CTST) acquired 81 acres for growing in British Columbia. 

The current status of growth at the CannTrust site is still up in the air as the company recently stopped all sales in the wake of a Health Canada review over using unlicensed grow rooms. 

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