‘It can damage’: Canada’s hashish trade struggles to achieve a foothold across the age of COVID-19

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Marijuana manufacturing jobs have fallen by a third since the start of the year.

Author of the article:

David Yasvinski

Release date:

September 08, 2020 • • September 8, 2020 • • 1 minute read The dismal numbers were fueled by significant layoffs in the hardest hit industry. The dismal numbers were fueled by significant layoffs in the hardest hit industry. Photo by MARTIN OUELLET-DIOTTE / AFP via Getty Images

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Canada’s economy created 245,800 jobs in August, but the cannabis industry remains on shaky ground.

According to Statistics Canada, the country’s cannabis products manufacturing sector has lost a third of its jobs since the start of the year, down from 3,483 jobs in January to 2,282 jobs in June. The dismal numbers were fueled by significant layoffs in the hardest-hit industry, including the hundreds Canopy Growth announced a few months ago. The company is reportedly preparing for another round of cuts.

“Canopy has long made it a priority to do things first, but going forward we will focus on doing things best in the markets and in the product formats that show the greatest promise,” said David Klein, CEO from Smith Company based in Falls.

The pain spread across the country when Aurora Cannabis was forced to shut down manufacturing facilities and uproot its mountainous facility. “It will hurt,” said Tim Hagen, mayor of the small town of Cremona. “A few people thought it could happen, but they didn’t think it was going to happen anytime soon.”

Earlier this year, Sundial Growers began reducing positions at their Olds facility, which had grown dramatically with the number of production rooms.

These setbacks are especially hard to take for smaller centers, where most of Alberta’s manufacturing takes place, said Nathan Mison, chairman of the Alberta Cannabis Council, which represents growers and retailers.

“This is disproportionately true in rural areas, and when you talk about hundreds of jobs lost, that’s very real,” Mison said.

In the past six months, the province has shed up to 1,700 jobs in the cannabis industry.

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