As work continues on Phase IV of construction to open a controversial retail shop in the West Edmonton Mall, Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB; TSX: ACB; Frankfurt: 21P) today issued an announcement about another strategic investment in the cannabis industry.

Last June – prior to the Cannabis Act going fully into effect – Aurora invested $27 million into Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO). Since that time, Choom has completed a number of company milestones required by the investment.

Most notably, the recreational cannabis company built 17 retail sites in Alberta and British Columbia, with another 8 sites in various phases of planning or construction as of early March.

In addition to the Choom-branded retail openings, the company just entered an agreement at the end of February to purchase all 30 Clarity Cannabis Retail Store sites in Alberta, of which only three are currently licensed through the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission.

Like Aurora’s other major cannabis investment, High Tide, Choom also issued a letter of intent to work with one of the Ontario retail store lottery applicants in anticipation of brick-and-mortar stores opening in the province this coming April.

Inspired by Hawaiian marijuana culture, Choom focuses on handcrafted cannabis and takes its name from a page in former U.S. President Barack Obama’s high school yearbook where he thanked the “choom gang” for “all the good times.”

Aurora’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Booth commented on Choom’s recent company milestones:

 Choom has demonstrated a strong commitment to rapidly executing its strategic growth plans by developing a sophisticated retail channel across Western Canada while diversifying operations through expansion into Ontario. Through our strategic investment, we have helped to expedite Choom’s commercial launch while gaining valuable insights into the consumer decision making process. 

Aurora additionally invested $10 million into the previously mentioned High Tide to help kickstart the growing chain of Canna Cabanna retail stores across Canada.

As one of the major licensed producers in the industry, Aurora has had a strong focus on Canadian operations since legalization arrived, but the company has also sought international deals.

Last month, the company announced a 51% acquisition of Gaia Pharm Lda in Portugal, which will now be re-christened Aurora Portugal Lda.

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