Deloitte Legal helps Aurora win contract for cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes
The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices ("BfArM") has awarded five lots to Aurora Produktions GmbH as part of a pilot tender for the cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes in Germany. Thus, Aurora can now implement the cultivation of cannabis in pharmaceutical quality in Germany in compliance with the legal requirements for narcotics and pharmaceuticals.
With the support of Deloitte Legal, Aurora has successfully asserted itself in the procurement procedure, which has now lasted several years. In professional circles, the award procedure is regarded as a milestone for the liberalisation of the market for cannabis for medical purposes and at the same time as a gateway to Europe. It can also be assumed that a contract award for participating companies will be an important reference for follow-up projects.
Aurora has been awarded five out of a total of 13 lots. It is noteworthy in this respect that the award of 11 lots to Aurora, which was actually possible, failed only because the BfArM had limited the number of lots per participant to a maximum of five. The fact that the award decision regarding none of the five lots, which have been awarded to Aurora, have been challenged is a success, as well. Four lots have not yet been awarded since the award decision by the BfArM has been appealed before the Federal Public Procurement Tribunal. In case of a complaints procedure before the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf the award of these lots can easily be delayed by several months.
The procedure was designed as an open procedure so that all interested companies could submit a tender directly. A total of 79 bidders participated in the procedure with bids. Numerous applicants had already participated in the previous award procedure - which was designed as a negotiated procedure with a preliminary call for competition. Out of a total of over 100 applicants, ten per lot were invited to submit a tender. Aurora had already participated in this award procedure. In addition to Aurora Deutschland GmbH - at that time still operating under the name Pedanios GmbH - MedReleaf was also involved in the process through MedReleaf Germany GmbH, which was founded specifically for this process. The companies which were still independent of each other at the time were already among the ten most successful companies to be invited to submit a bid in that tender procedure. In May 2018, the original award procedure was unexpectedly cancelled by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf due to what the court considered to be a too tight deadline for submitting further documentation.
MedReleaf Corp. was acquired by Aurora Cannabis Inc., Edmonton, Canada, in the summer of 2018. As a result, Aurora group management decided to submit a consolidated bid under the lead of Aurora Produktions GmbH in the new award procedure.
Deloitte Legal had already represented Aurora in the original procurement procedure with Sebastian Schnitzler's procurement law team; a Corporate/M&A team led by Düsseldorf partner Dr. Michael von Rüden advised MedReleaf Corp. on all corporate and contractual aspects relevant for the procurement procedure.
Also after the takeover of MedReleaf Corp., Aurora continues to rely on the comprehensive procurement law expertise of Deloitte Legal and instructed Deloitte Legal to advise on the now successfully completed procurement procedure.
Deloitte Legal (Hamburg): Sebastian Schnitzler (Lead, Procurement), Felix Skala (Antitrust Law), Stephanie Otto (Procurement)
Deloitte Legal (Düsseldorf): Michael von Rüden (Lead Corporate/M&A), Thilo Hoffmann (Corporate/M&A)
Aurora Cannabis Inc. is a Canadian licensed cannabis producer, headquartered in Edmonton, engaged in the production and distribution of medical cannabis. It trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange and NYSE as ACB. Aurora is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across key segments of the value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding and genetics research, cannabis, and hemp production, derivatives, home cultivation, wholesale and retail distribution. The Company's purpose-built facilities which integrate technologies across all processes are defined by automation and customization. The Company has sales and operations in 24 countries worldwide.