Cannabis retail chain Tweed has cut 12% of its workforce in Manitoba — from 73 to 64 employees. The affected stores include two in Winnipeg, plus single stores in Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, and Brandon.
Tweed is owned Canadian cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp. Manitoba’s four Tokyo Smoke shops, which are also owned by Canopy, have so far been unaffected by the layoffs.
The company attributes the job cuts to learning how to navigate the business of legal cannabis retail in a brand new industry.
“This is the first time we’ve operated retail stores, so this is just a reflection of us learning a little bit about staffing and how much of the team is required to run the business,” Jordan Sinclair, Canopy Growth’s vice president of communications, told CBC News this week. “Now that we’ve got six months of experience behind us, we understand how much of the team needs to be there on a daily basis to run the store.”
Sinclair also said that the layoffs are not reflective of provincial regulation strategies or of Manitobans’ demand for cannabis.
Manitoba subscribes to a hybrid model of public and private cannabis retail outlets, and business has been swift since legalization, aided by the fact that it has had product available for sale since Day 1 and that home cultivation is outlawed.
Canopy, which is publicly traded and currently employs about 3,000 people, was a producer of medical cannabis before adult-use legalization came into force last October.
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