Aurora’s experimental weed

Published on July 19, 2019 by oz. staff

An agricultural hamlet in the Thomson-Okanagan is officially home to an outdoor experimental cannabis farm owned and operated by Aurora.

The Edmonton-based licensed producer has received two new licenses from Health Canada for outdoor cultivation. One of the sites is in Westwold, B.C., located between Vernon and Kamloops.

The 207-acre operation is called Aurora Valley and is visible off Highway 97.

“For this season and next, our focus will be on researching cultivation methods and evaluating genetics in order to produce high THC and CBD cannabis in outdoor-grown plants, with the ultimate goal of extracting these components,” says Dr. Jonathan Page, Chief Science Officer at Aurora.

Outdoor growing is an inexpensive way to produce large amounts of cannabis that’s perfectly suited to extraction. It just so happens the Okanagan is home to some of the country’s biggest extraction players, Vitalis and Valens.

La belle cannabis

The Quebec facility in Lachute, northwest of Montreal, is the first approved outdoor grow operation for cannabis in La Belle Province.

“The unique climates of each site also presents a great opportunity to determine which cultivars will perform best in different outdoor environments.”

Aurora Valley is expected to be planted shortly.

CBC radio program Daybreak Kamloops talked to residents when the project was initially announced in April. Residents were skeptical, citing concerns that include smell, security and water use.