Tilray – the parent company of High Park Farms in Enniskillen – is laying off 10 per cent of its workforce.
The company – which has expanded rapidly since the legalization of cannabis use in Canada – has 1,443 employees world wide, including nearly 300 at the Enniskillen greenhouse on Lasalle Line.
The company – which rarely provides interviews to the media preferring only to answer questions via email – isn’t saying how many people in Enniskillen were released. Sources say it could be as many as 40.
“Tilray restructured its global organization to meet the needs of the current industry environment and for continued growth in 2020 and beyond,” said CEO Brendan Kennedy in a statement released to the media. “These changes include an approximately ten per cent reduction in staff. By reducing headcount and cost, Tilray will be better positioned to achieve profitability and be one of the clear winners in the cannabis industry, which will drive value for our investor and employee shareholders.”
Tilray – like many cannabis producers in Canada – have been struggling to make a dollar in the new market. Tilray expanded rapidly, buying a processing plant in London, acquiring Natura Naturals Holdings for $70 million, and buying a greenhouse in Leamington – all in 2019 – to expand in southwestern Ontario.
In October, it rolled out a number of different brands for the new edible market. High Park had plans to produce some of the chocolate and candy in Enniskillen, but that is on hold right now. Enniskillen Township council turned down a zoning change would would have allowed the production and the creation of up to 40 more jobs. High Park has appealed that decision to the Local Planning Authority Tribunal.
The layoffs are not particularly surprising considering Tilray posted a $35.7 million (US) loss in the most recent earnings report. The company went from $18 billion in market capitalization – the value of a company traded on a stock market – to $3.2 billion in one year.
“The tough decision to eliminate roles has not been taken lightly. We’re extremely grateful to our past and current employees for their contributions,” added Kennedy.