Once poised to soar high as a major economic mover, the nation’s cannabis industry is now in the fight of its life as the past year has proven much less successful than expected for the sector.
Attesting to these struggles is a major announcement by licensed producer Tilray Inc.
The company, based in British Columbia, announced earlier this week that it will be streamlining its employment numbers by as much as 10%. At present, Tilray has a workforce of 1,443 people across the globe, most of them in Canada and Portugal.
“By reducing headcount and cost, Tilray will be better positioned to achieve profitability,” CEO Brendan Kennedy stated, as quoted by the Financial Post.
“The tough decision to eliminate roles has not been taken lightly. We’re extremely grateful to our past and current employees for their contributions.”
Kennedy added that post-labour cuts, the company will be shifting its focus towards international medical cannabis, science and research, and the domestic recreational market, as well as its Manitoba Harvest hemp foods acquisition (completed 2019).
The company posted a loss of US$35.7 million in its most recent earnings, which it stated was larger than anticipated.
The situation is a far cry from nearly a year ago, when legalization was just months old and cannabis was found to be breathing new life into small, struggling markets.
At the time, once-depressed tertiary markets were enjoying resurgence, thanks to the arrival of marijuana production facilities that are priced out of urban markets.