Article by Vanmala Subramanian, Vancouver Sun
The CEO of Aurora Cannabis says that Ontario and British Columbia “shat the bed” when rolling out their retail models for recreational cannabis, and that the only provinces that “got it right” were Alberta and “perhaps Saskatchewan.”
“I would say Ontario shat the bed the worst,” Terry Booth told a panel session at the Marijuana Business Conference — also known as MJ Biz Con — in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Booth’s comments, at times laced with profanity, were met with a mix of laughter and shock by the audience, who were attending the session titled “Canada: Assessing the First Month of Recreational Sales.”
Canada has struggled to meet demand for recreational weed, with some licensed producers pointing the blame at the distribution methods employed by certain provinces, and provinces saying that they did not receive enough product from producers.
Booth said Edmonton-based Aurora had lived up to its obligations but suggested that problems with the rollout were holding the company back.
“We have contractual commitments with the provinces and we have met them,” Booth said, adding that, “we would be ready right now if the government had let us.”
Booth appeared alongside Hamish Sutherland, CEO of cannabis investment firm White Sheep Corp., and Michael Elkin, a consultant with Cannabis Compliance Inc.
The chief executive of Aurora was scheduled to appear for the session at 10:30 a.m. local time but arrived late, and was initially replaced by his chief corporate officer, Cam Battley. About 10 minutes into the discussion, Booth appeared, chuckling, as he removed a clip-on microphone from Battley and proceeded to take his seat on the podium.