N.B. cannabis retailer lays off staffers as ‘operational needs’ become clear

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s cannabis retailer is laying off staff, saying it has a better understanding of “operational needs” three months after the historic legalization of recreational marijuana.

Cannabis NB said most of the about 60 layoffs involved people with seasonal contracts, but some are part-time or full-time employees.

Spokeswoman Marie-Andree Bolduc said Thursday that despite supply challenges, operations have normalized at the 20 stores and they now understand the needs of each outlet.

“This decision is representative of normal new retail industry operations and long-term fiscal responsibility,” she said in an email.

She said it’s difficult to speculate whether the supply problems that have plagued cannabis retailers across the country were a factor.

“Supply issues may have contributed, however based on current traffic and interaction time with customers we are confident that even as supply continues to stabilize and we expand our portfolio, that our current team has the capacity to deliver the expected customer experience and education and manage store operations,” she said.

Under the former Liberal government, New Brunswick had seen legalized cannabis as green gold — a chance to rake in profits and create production and retail jobs, with a community college program developed for cannabis technicians.

Bolduc said some of the laid-off staff may be rehired in the future.

“In preparing for the launch of the new legal cannabis industry, Cannabis NB wanted to ensure that a well-trained, qualified team was built that was large enough to set up the retail locations, fill the work schedules and deliver the right customer experience and education based on demand,” she said.

“The teams and roles were structured to allow flexibility in the delivery of the customer experience needed and manage expectations that staffing of stores may change after launch.”

Bolduc says they’ll be releasing quarterly sales figures at the end of January.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Nova Scotia is not looking at any layoffs as a result of supply shortages, said provincial Finance Minister Karen Casey.

The province has only 12 shops run by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, which gets its supply from licensed producers based in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta.

Casey said a second Nova Scotia producer has recently gotten approval from Health Canada, which has helped with the supply crunch, while a third is waiting for approval.

“We were anticipating a greater demand over the Christmas season that we did receive, so it helped to balance that (shortages) out,” said Casey.

She said unlike New Brunswick, her province did not lock employees into contracts beginning with the original roll out date of July 1. Casey said Nova Scotia stores are also staffed by some permanent part-time workers.

“So we are not subjected to the situation that they (New Brunswick) are, where they have employees and no work and have to lay them off,” she said.

Casey said the fact Nova Scotia operates with fewer stores has been a factor in retaining jobs.

“I think that approach has allowed us to better manage supply demand and not have to look at layoffs.”

Just Posted

Sasktachewan pup, who has extensive burns, makes her way to Red Deer

Donations accepted for Phoenix who has third degree burns on her body

Man dead in ATV collision in central Alberta

The Rocky Mountain House RCMP are investigating a quad rollover collision that… Continue reading

One airlifted to hospital after avalanche on glacier in Yoho National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says it has responded to an… Continue reading

Hundreds of Canadian troops deployed to flood zones in Quebec and N.B.

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Francois Legault will visit flood-damaged regions north of… Continue reading

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

‘The Curse of La Llorona’ reigns over weekend box office

LOS ANGELES — “The Curse of La Llorona” (yuh-ROH’-nuh) had only good… Continue reading

New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25… Continue reading

Witnesses still struggling one year after deadly Yonge Street van attack

TORONTO — The survivor guilt settled in moments after he saw all… Continue reading

‘Shocking violation’: Parish prepares to re-bury remains after grave plundered

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Largely untended for decades, the toppled and faded… Continue reading

President attends Easter service following slew of tweets

PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump is using Easter morning to… Continue reading

Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — At least 207 people were killed and hundreds… Continue reading

Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western… Continue reading

Soldiers deploy across Quebec after flood-caused sinkhole claims woman’s life

MONTREAL — Canadian Armed Forces are deploying in three regions across Quebec,… Continue reading

Most Read