The City of Medicine Hat has been in the energy business since natural gas was first discovered in the southeast corner of the province. For over 100 years, the city has owned and operated its power utility, as well as an oil and gas company.
This proven support of a nascent industry over a century ago, as well as low electricity costs and an average of 330 days of sunshine a year, has drawn the attention of this century’s burgeoning industry – cannabis production.
Aurora Cannabis – a public producer with an $8.8 billion market cap – is building a 1.5 million square foot greenhouse in Medicine Hat. The company’s Aurora Sun facility, which will begin operations in 2019 and be fully operational in 2020, is expected to employ approximately 450 locals and improve the city’s GDP by $17 million.
Medicine Hat by the Numbers
• Incorporated as a City:
May 9, 1906
• Current Mayor: Ted Clugston
• Population (2016): 63,260
• Population Change 2011-2016: 5.4%
• Land Area: 112 sq. km
• Average Annual Days of Sunshine: 330
• Median Household Income: $72,806
Sources: Statistics Canada,
Invest Medicine Hat
“It’s exciting to see the positive economic impact that new industry has on the community,” says Jon Sookocheff, director of business development with Invest Medicine Hat. “Many of us have come from across the country and around the world to make this city our home – and we embrace others who want to do the same.”
Working toward a future that benefits all its citizens, Medicine Hat is well-positioned to move forward as a leader in cannabis and hemp production, as well as renewable energy, clean tech, and food processing – other industries gaining traction in southeast Alberta, where more than $3.5 billion in related projects have been planned.