Cannabis production company Tilray has confirmed it will be closing its cultivation facility and offices near Nanaimo’s Duke Point.
In a statement, Tilray says, “with the recent business combination with Aphria, Tilray is making changes to optimize operational efficiencies. Tilray will concentrate its local BC cultivation in the Broken Coast facility on Vancouver Island, and its international production and manufacturing in Portugal and Germany.
The Broken Coast facility is in Duncan.
A merger was completed between Tilray and Aphria, an international Cannabis producer and distributor based in Leamington, Ontario, on May 3, 2021.
“Tilray has been a major employer, it represented significant investment in our community,” says Nanaimo Mayor, Leonard Krog. Adding “we are mindful that employees and others will be seriously impacted by the closures.”
According to Krog, around 170 employees currently work at the facility, earlier this year, the global cannabis grower laid off 10 per cent of its workforce as a way to cut costs.
“I’m hoping that in what is a tight job market that they will have skills that can be matched with alternate employment and be able to remain in the community,” says Krog.
But, Tilray says they will work with employees interested in transitioning and seeking opportunities at the nearby facility in Duncan.
When it’s all said and done, the city is hopeful the property will sell fast, saying industrial land in Nanaimo is hard to find.
The closure will be in phases and is expected to be complete by Spring 2022.