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Aurora Aligns With Southern Glazer’s Subsidiary Great North Across Canada

January 19, 2021

Canadian cannabis giant Aurora has partnered with Great North Distributors as its exclusive representative across all of Canada. Great North is a subsidiary of Southern Glazer’s Canada and a national sales broker for recreational cannabis.

Doug Wieland, president of Great North and Southern Glazer’s Canada, told SND the company will leverage data and analytics to help Aurora gain a more precise portrait of its cannabis sales and trends marketwide. “Mirroring a similar approach to the successful beverage alcohol broker model we are familiar with, our national partnership with Aurora allows us to create a separate selling division focused on best in class field execution and industry leading data analytics, all the while leveraging our established relationships with key customers across the country,” he said.

Aurora’s recreational brand suite includes small-batch, organic Whistler Cannabis Co.; San Rafael ’71; Aurora Drift; and value brand Daily Special, among others. While Aurora has covered its bases producing flower, edibles, and vapes, its portfolio is noticeably lacking the beverage options its competitors have developed. Nonetheless, its brands stand to gain considerably from the sort of coordinated, national sales push they will receive under the Great North partnership.

In a statement to SND, Aurora said it plans to “leverage Great North’s people resources, sales capability training, operational efficiency, and data and analytics” to advance the position of its family of brands in the marketplace.

The arrangement, which takes effect January 25, comes at a moment when Aurora needs to boost cannabis sales and increase exposure of its brands. The company has fallen short of some of its competitors in recent quarters, posting recreational cannabis sales of C$34.3 million ($26.9m) and an EBITDA loss of C$57.9 million ($45.4m) in the quarter ended in September. It has also enacted several rounds of layoffs and facility closures in the last few months as it battles an oversupply problem.—Danny Sullivan

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