Pennsylvania medical marijuana grower lays off dozens of employees

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Hanging Gardens, a Johnstown, Pennsylvania-based medical marijuana cultivator, is laying off dozens of staffers, blaming lax state regulations and the deep pockets of multistate marijuana operators.

This continues a trend of recent layoffs across the country where several companies have let dozens of workers go as the marijuana market experiences the typical volatility of a nascent industry.

The threat of a recession also is overhanging the market and forcing companies to keep a tight lid on costs.

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reported that 50 of Hanging Gardens’ approximately 110 workers were given partial or full layoffs, including 30 full-time staffers.

The company plans to sue the state on grounds that the program isn’t adhering to the law passed in 2016 that was designed to prevent monopolies.

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Hanging Gardens’ chief financial officer, Shane Kenney, told the Tribune-Democrat that despite the law’s intent to limit the number of sites a single business can operate in the state, a number of MSOs have grabbed licenses by acquiring other companies.