Canadian Cultivator Tilray to Lay Off 61 Employees

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Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as the company changes up its operating model.

The move comes about a year after Tilary opened its cultivation facility in the town of Nanaimo and a day after two of its competitors announced they are merging to create a powerhouse MMJ provider.

Tilary CEO Greg Engel said in a statement that the company is shifting its model to “more efficiently serve patients and the…market as it exists today.”

One dispensary owner in Victoria told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that the layoffs aren’t surprising, as he feels cultivation companies grossly overestimated the amount of revenues they’d take in.

Tilray is one of 17 companies in Canada licensed to both cultivate and distribute MMJ, according to Health Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes (MMPR) regulations. It’s owned by Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm that in April closed a $75 million round of financing.

The company has been lauded for bringing money and jobs to Nanaimo. A March report said between the construction phase and the facility’s first nine months of operation, the company generated $48.1 million in economic output and fostered or supported about 395 jobs.

The Canadian medical cannabis program will likely undergo some changes in the near future. The Supreme Court recently ruled that all forms of cannabis, including edibles and extracts, are legal, a shift from a law that allowed for only dried forms of marijuana.