The Czech Republic is the 21st country to start importing marijuana from rapidly expanding Canadian firm Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB; TSX: ACB).
Czech pharmaceutical wholesaler CMH placed an order with Aurora and it has now secured the necessary export permit and completed its first shipment of medical cannabis to the central European nation. CMH will distribute it to pharmacies across the country, which has a population of 10 million.
The Czech Republic legalized cannabis for medicinal use back in 2013, and Czechs can receive 180 grams of dried flower per month. That works out to more than an eighth of an ounce per day, so it could be a lucrative market for Aurora.
Specialist doctors can prescribe cannabis via electronic forms that Czechs take to the pharmacies that CMH supplies. There is some domestic production in the country, but it mainly relies on imports from EU GMP-approved producers.
“The Czech Republic represents the 21st country in which we operate, and exemplifies how we are rapidly expanding our global footprint in the medical cannabis space,” said Neil Belot, chief global development officer at Aurora.
He noted there are tough barriers to entering the Czech Republic and said his firm’s ability to enter new jurisdictions bodes well for the future. Belot added that he hopes to embark on a long-term partnership with CMH to supply patients across the Czech Republic with Canadian cannabis for many years to come.
Aurora’s footprint now spans five continents. It has a funded cultivation capacity of more than 500,000 kilos per year and is tipped to top the 1 million mark soon and it took a huge step towards that milestone by completing a deal to purchase Uruguay-based ICC for C$290 million ($220 million) last week.
South America is seen as a huge prize for large Canadian cannabis producers, and many are moving their pieces around the continent as it develops into a game of chess.
Toronto-based Khiron Life Sciences (TSXV: KHRN) has just received approval to sell four CBD products in Peru, a country of 32 million people. It already has agreements in place in Colombia and Mexico, and it can now market its derivatives to 200 million Latin Americans. “Khiron is entirely focused on the Latin American cannabis market and meeting the needs of it’s 620 million residents,” said co-founder and chief executive Alvaro Torres.