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Jun 27, 2017

Twists and turns: Canopy CEO talks expansion ahead of legalization deadline

Canopy Growth CEO: I'm not chasing profits for now

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The chief executive of Canada’s largest publicly-traded marijuana producer says its domestic expansion plan will position the company well, even if the provinces miss Ottawa’s legalization deadline.

Canopy Growth (WEED.TO) CEO Bruce Linton told BNN in an interview Tuesday the company’s cross-Canada strategy will give the company more localized production and distribution in the event some provinces are not prepared by the proposed July 1, 2018 end of prohibition.

Canopy, which posted quarterly results Tuesday that missed analyst expectations despite a 191 per cent surge in revenue year-over-year, recently announced plans to open indoor production facilities in Alberta and New Brunswick. Production at its new Yorktown, Saskatchewan facility is also set to begin next month.

“When you look at the history of things like beer and distilled spirits, each province has a little twist or a turn, and so from our perspective you get logistics and residency which should turn into access to more and more customers,” Linton told BNN on the expansion.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week Ottawa is preparing backup regulations based on mail delivery in case the provinces fail to ready up before the deadline. Some provinces have voiced their worries the fixed date doesn’t give them enough time to prepare.

“Mr. Morneau has talked about ‘plan B,’ which I think will be allowing us to register you as a customer… and courier direct to your house.” Linton said. “If I have production and distribution capabilities across the country, that means people could choose us and have same-day [or] next-day delivery everywhere.”

Canopy’s shares fell on the earnings release after the growth in sales failed to prevent the company’s quarterly loss from widening. But Linton said he isn’t going to get too worried about profit until the start of next year.