Canadian Marijuana Industry Employment Tumbled As Producers Drew Federal COVID-19 Cash, Analysis Shows

6,000 people lost or left jobs at licensed producers since the end of 2019

Thousands of Canadian marijuana industry workers have lost or left their jobs since early 2020, even as their employers received more than $140 million Canadian dollars ($112 million) in federal subsidies to retain or rehire employees amid the pandemic, an MJBizDaily analysis has found.

That raises questions about both the cost-effectiveness of the wage-subsidy program and whether most of the funding went to businesses in need of serious restructuring even before the pandemic hit – instead of businesses struggling to cope with the pandemic’s fallout.

The job losses also have come at a time when annual executive compensation at certain cannabis companies jumped, in some cases to levels exceeding annual revenue.

These findings and questions emerged after MJBizDaily examined the regulatory filings for 50 of the largest Canadian cannabis businesses by market capitalization.

The analysis looked at the number of people the companies employed before the pandemic versus the number detailed in the most recent regulatory disclosures – or, in some cases, after the pandemic started but before significant mergers and acquisitions occurred that might have resulted in job losses.

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