New Brunswick

Job losses hitting Atholville cannabis producer, Zenabis

Zenabis announced on Wednesday it would reduce its total workforce by 22%, but won't say how many employees are being affected in Atholville.

22 percent of workforce let go, but Zenabis won't say how many positions are being affected in Atholville

Zenabis announced it was reducing its workforce by 22 per cent, but wouldn't say how many employees in Atholville will lose their jobs. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

In a notice released Wednesday, Zenabis announced it would be reducing its total workforce of more than 700 employees by 22%, but the company won't break down how many employees are being let go from each of its four locations across the country.

One of the company's production facilities is in Atholville. The village's mayor, Michel Soucy, said between 450 and 475 employees worked there. The other locations are in Stellarton, N.S. and in the B.C. cities of Langley and Delta.

Soucy said he learned about the layoffs on social media the day the cuts happened and the company reached out to him Thursday.

"What they're telling us it's just due to the market, it's really a reorganization," he said.

Mandeep Khara, chief marketing officer at Zenabis said, "All locations were impacted by this decision as we have shifted our focus to operational excellence and becoming cash flow positive."

Atholville Mayor Michel Soucy said he heard about his community's job losses on social media. (Colin McPhail/CBC)

He wouldn't elaborate on the number of job losses, but says, "it does not impact our cultivation and production."

Zenabis is one of Cannabis NB's largest suppliers. 

Mayor Soucy said between 450 and 475 people work at the Zenabis plant in Atholville. He isn't sure how many have lost their jobs. (Radio-Canada)

New Brunswick's cannabis retailer has seen an increase in sales, but initially lagged behind other provinces.

In Nov. 2019, the province announced it was considering handing over cannabis sales to the private sector because it's been a money-loser since the outset of legalization in October 2018. But, Statistics Canada reported last month, sales are improving as the corporation lowers prices.





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