Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Canopy Growth's Tweed facility in Smiths Falls, Ont. on Aug. 23, 2018.

The Canadian Press

Canopy Growth Corp. will cease operations at five facilities across the country and lay off more than 200 workers – the latest in a series of dramatic cuts the cannabis company and several others have made this year.

Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Canopy said Wednesday that it will end operations at sites in St. John’s, Fredericton, Edmonton, Bowmanville, Ont. and at an outdoor grow facility in Saskatchewan.

The closures will affect 220 employees, but save the company between $150-million and $200-million and accelerate its path to profitability, Canopy chief executive David Klein said in a release.

Story continues below advertisement

“This was a difficult decision, but I believe it is the right one,” he said.

“I want to thank all of the employees impacted by this decision for their efforts in helping build Canopy Growth.”

Canopy’s cuts have come in a year in which many cannabis companies, including competitors Aurora Inc. and Tilray Inc., have announced mass layoffs, facility closures and multimillion-dollar writedowns.

The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated matters by causing the temporary closing of cannabis stores in virus hot spots and forcing companies to shell out for masks, hand sanitizer, plexiglass barriers and other protective measures.

Amid the pandemic, Mr. Klein took a dive into Canopy’s finances and rethought its first-to-every-market strategy.

He laid off at least 800 staff by May, and made additional cuts throughout the summer and fall.

He also announced the company would take up to $800-million in writedowns, a total he added to on Wednesday when he said Canopy will record pre-tax charges of between $350-million and $400-million in the third and fourth quarters of its fiscal 2021.

Story continues below advertisement

The new cuts will affect about 17 per cent of the company’s enclosed facilities in Canada and 100 per cent of its outdoor sites, which can produce cannabis at much lower prices than indoor ones.

Canopy first got into outdoor growing last year with a test crop in Saskatchewan, but returned to the method this year with hopes of using its crop on edibles, cannabis beverages and vaporizer pens.

Adam Greenblatt, a senior communications adviser with Canopy, previously extolled the virtues of outdoor growing in an interview with The Canadian Press, saying it slashes electricity bills and reduces labour costs.

With the Saskatchewan site closing, Mr. Klein said, “We are confident that our remaining sites will be able to produce the quantity and quality of cannabis required to meet current and future demand.”

His remarks pushed Canopy’s stock down by more than 2 per cent or 82 cents to reach $36.07 in early afternoon trading.

Earlier this year, competitor Aurora also ceased operations at about six facilities in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec and cut at least 1,200 workers.

Story continues below advertisement

Tilray shed at least 10 per cent of its work force and Sundial Growers and Zenabis Global Inc. also faced reductions.

The cuts have come as Canada is still grappling with how to eliminate the illicit market and companies are trying to entice reluctant consumers and build loyalty with new categories of edibles like beverages.

But just as Canopy was announcing its cuts, its global head of beverages posted on LinkedIn that he is leaving the company and heading to Google Canada’s marketing team.

Andrew Rapsey wrote, “I’m incredibly grateful for the teammates at Canopy Growth Corporation and excited to see how the drinks business evolves in the next six to 12 months.”

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies