Aurora Cannabis named its new genetic licensing business, Occo, which is backed by the company’s breeding and genetics facility in Comox, British Columbia, Canada.
Occo will be based out of Aurora’s Coast research and development hub and will be led by Casey Whelan, vice president of genetics business development, who will be responsible for leading Occo’s genetics licensing efforts in Canada and other markets. He joins Aurora after spending a decade in breeding and licensing premium agricultural products, according to a company release.
The Occo team includes a number of experts in analytics and testing, biotechnology, genomics, medical affairs, pathology, product development, and tissue culture, according to Aurora.
Occo has already commercialized a number of new cultivars with Canadian licensed producers, including three cultivars launched under Aurora’s San Rafael ’71 brand (Driftwood Diesel, Lemon Rocket, and Stonefruit Sunset).
“As a business fueled by science, we firmly believe that investing in cannabis research and development and the commercial application of unique technologies, including biosynthesis, is Aurora’s true differentiator and will define the future of the industry,” says Charles Pick, senior vice president of science and innovation at Aurora. “Under the Occo umbrella, licensed producers will be granted access to a strong pipeline of novel cultivars and innovative traits that will meet the evolving expectations of consumers. Occo already has more than 30 high-quality cultivars, not available anywhere else on the market, that are ready for immediate trial and exclusive licensing.”