Cannabis Industry's Workforce Trimming Trend Continues: Columbia Care Announces Dozens Of Layoffs

Multi-state cannabis operator, Columbia Care Inc CCHWF, which owns Green Leaf Medical LLC, is laying off numerous workers at its Saxton facility, reported the Bedford Gazette. Per data from the Department of Labor & Industry, 73 employees will be laid off, effective February 28.

It seems that the decision was provoked by the ongoing demand and supply issues across the cannabis industry. The Covid-19 pandemic and related lockdowns also played an important role in this matter, which ultimately led to a steep decline in weed prices. Why? It can be assumed that the industry expected that people who began consuming marijuana during the pandemic or were consuming more than normal would continue to do so when the crisis ended.

Unfortunately for marijuana growers and farmers, that didn’t happen, which resulted in an oversupply of raw cannabis. Bank of America analyst Lisa K. Lewandowski recently pointed out that the biggest headwinds the industry will face in 2023 include: oversupply, heavy taxation, economies of scale, an inflationary environment, capital challenges and slow regulatory progress.

“In order to meet the appropriate supply and demand levels of the market, it was necessary for us to reduce the workforce at our cultivation and production facility,” a statement from Columbia Care company reads. “It is never an easy decision to make as an operator, and we are grateful to all our employees who have been instrumental in bringing the medical cannabis program online and providing our patients with the best quality product. We are hopeful that with adult use on the horizon, this facility will be back up to full capacity in the future.”

A Growing Industry Trend

Columbia Care joins many cannabis companies that have recently laid off employees as part of cost-saving measures.

  • LeafLink, an online wholesale cannabis platform, laid off 80 workers on December 15th.

  • Curaleaf Holdings CURLF laid off around 220 employees in November.

  • WM Technology Inc. MAPS recently cut 25% of its workforce or 175 employees.

  • Aurora Cannabis ACB cut 12% of its global workforce in a scheme to save up to $69 million.

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