(LEAMINGTON, ON) – Leamington’s Aphria, a grower of medical cannabis, has purchased additional shareholder units in an Arizona grower through its subsidiary Aphria (Arizona). Using $3 million (USD) it has expanded its ownership of Copperstate Farms through holdings in Copperstate Farms Investors.
The investment will ultimately help Copperstate buy or upgrade equipment for extractions, lighting, and power generation. The investment increases Aphria’s membership units 10% to 18.5% of those issued.
Copperstate is a licensed producer of medical cannabis with production facilities in Snowflake, AZ. It operates approximately 1.7 million square feet of greenhouses and plans to bring approximately 348,000 square feet into medical cannabis production in the fall of this year.
Copperstate has received a special use permit for cannabis production in its entire facility by the town of Snowflake. The Arizona Department of Health Services previously approved Copperstate’s initial operations, located in 6,000 square feet, and will need to approve the expanded cultivation prior to operating the expanded facility.
The first harvest is currently expected in early summer with a full harvest on the expanded operation expected late in 2017. Copperstate estimates that its expanded operations are capable of annualized production of approximately 18,000kg.
The current spot price for wholesale bud in the AZ market is approximately $3,300 per kilogram.
Copperstate has secured 90 different marijuana varieties for eventual offer to its customers. Several of the varieties are currently being tested to determine consumer demand and optimal growing metrics.
“Our expanded investment in Copperstate Farms Investors increases Aphria’s exposure to the particularly attractive Arizona medical cannabis market,” said Vic Neufeld, Aphria’s CEO.
He added that his company’s partnership with Investors, “… combines Aphria’s extensive agriculture and pharmaceutical experience with Copperstate Farms’ strong operational expertise, all while strengthening Copperstate’s ability to serve Arizona’s approximately 115,000 medical marijuana patients. In all, we believe this important partnership has significant long-term growth potential for Aphria.”