CannTrust lays off 20 per cent of workforce
By Greta Chiu
CannTrust has reduced their workforce by 20 per cent, letting go of approximately 180 employees.
The federally licensed cannabis producer says this action is expected to save $9 million annually. Severance costs are estimated at $2 million, with most of the affected employees involved in cultivation and customer service support areas.
“We have made the extremely difficult decision to restructure our workforce to reflect the current requirements of our business,” says Robert Marcovitch, CannTrust’s interim chief executive officer. “These changes also position the Company to better serve our patients and customers with high quality, innovative products in the future.”
“Over the past two months, we have moved swiftly to assess and address the Health Canada report indicating areas of non-compliance in our operations, as well as the findings of the Special Committee’s independent investigation,” continues Marcovitch. “We remain fully committed to building the organization we need for future success and rebuilding the trust of all of our stakeholders.”
Health Canada first flagged CannTrust’s five unlicensed rooms in their Pelham growing facility back in early July. This was followed by the termination of then CEO Peter Aceto and resignation of then Board Chair Eric Paul. The company then put a voluntary hold on the sale and shipment of CannTrust’s cannabis products.
In August, CannTrust’s report revealed that Health Canada found a number of infractions in their Vaughan manufacturing facility, including five rooms that were converted to storage areas without prior approval.
Ontario Cannabis Store, the Crown corporation in charge of wholesale distribution to licensed Ontario cannabis retailers and the operator of Ontario’s online recreational cannabis store, returned approximately $2.9 million of product to CannTrust. The products were deemed non-conforming for not complying with applicable laws.