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Curaleaf cuts employees as cannabis industry’s downturn deepens

Curaleaf, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, has laid off hundreds of its staff, Insider has learned.

The company laid off around 220 employees ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the company confirmed to Insider.

In a statement to Insider, Curaleaf said the cuts were “a part of an effort to control costs and drive efficiencies in the face of economic uncertainties ahead.” A company spokesperson declined to say which departments the cuts were concentrated in.

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Curaleaf employs over 6,000 people, according to its website.

“I don’t like having to deliver this news, and we haven’t reached this decision easily,” Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin said in a company-wide email sent to employees and reviewed by Insider. Darin, who took over the top job in May, said Curaleaf was in discussions with unionized employees at affected Curaleaf locations.

Curaleaf cultivates cannabis and sells it through shops in 21 states, including Michigan, Illinois, and New Jersey.

Curaleaf previously laid off about 50 workers and closed a major facility in Sacramento in August, Insider reported.

“The cannabis industry has grown fast and is constantly evolving,” Darin said in the email. “In the current environment with inflationary pressures, increased competition and slowing growth, it’s incumbent on us to be more efficient.”

From public giants to small startups, cannabis companies are falling on hard times. Like other industries, cannabis companies have been contending with broader trends like rising inflation. But the industry is also facing with its own challenges — like the price of wholesale cannabis falling — as well as heavy regulations, taxes, and federal illegality that make doing business uniquely challenging.

Darin said he’s hopeful that Congress will pass a narrow cannabis reform bill, the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow cannabis companies to access the banking system like any other industry, during the lame-duck period this year.

Curaleaf is far from alone in making cuts: Cannabis tech firm Weedmaps laid off 10% of employees in August, with now-former CEO Chris Beals citing a sales slowdown in California in a letter to employees, as Insider reported. Cannabis startups Eaze and Dutchie cut staff earlier this year.

Curaleaf cuts employees as cannabis industry’s downturn deepens

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