LEAMINGTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 9, 2015) - Aphria Inc. ("Aphria") (TSX VENTURE:APH) announced today that, with its latest harvest, its yield rose by 52% from 92 to 140 grams per square metre. This significant increase is the result of several production refinements, including tighter spacing of its plants.
"After honing our greenhouse growing techniques over the past several months, I am pleased to report that our experienced growing team has improved the yield of our last harvest by more than 50%," said Vic Neufeld, Chief Executive Officer of Aphria. "Production is going very well and we believe these new production metrics are sustainable."
Added Neufeld, "With eight harvests under our belt and zero crop failures we are building inventory rapidly and have approximately 150 kilograms of product ready to go. Patient users are able to get product when they need it and without waiting."
Aphria's geographic location in Leamington, the greenhouse capital of North America, provides it with built-in cost advantages, including the ready availability of a high caliber agricultural labour pool and the close proximity of supplies, such as fertilizer.
Additionally, Leamington, which is home to the second warmest climate in Canada, sees a higher than average number of hours of annual sunshine than the rest of Ontario. As a result, Aphria's greenhouses use a majority of natural sunlight, resulting in meaningful energy savings.
Neufeld continued, "Without question our economic model benefits from our state-of-the-art greenhouse facility and attractive geographic location."
Aphria also announced that its newest strain of medical marijuana, Wilbur, will be available for shipping at the beginning of March.
"We are thrilled to be launching Wilbur, the strain with the highest CBD content in our offering," said Neufeld. "We know there are patient users who need high CBD medical marijuana and who have difficulty securing an adequate and consistent supply. Some patient users also struggle to afford the cost of medical marijuana, particularly the higher CBD strains. As such, effective today, we are taking the savings derived from our recent productivity optimization and offering a compassionate pricing model as well as free shipping. This will have a neutral net impact on our margins."
Aphria, a company continued under the laws of the Province of Ontario and based in Leamington, Ontario, is in the business of producing, supplying and selling medical marijuana pursuant to the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (the "MMPR"). Under the MMPR, Health Canada is responsible for the oversight of commercial medical marijuana growers such as Aphria. Aphria's common shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol "APH".
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