Tilray is selling Nanaimo property as cannabis giant leaves city


Cannabis producer Tilray has accepted an offer for the sale of its Nanaimo property as the company nears its departure from the city.

The property located at Maughan Road — a 5.5-acre lot with two industrial buildings — was listed two weeks ago for $18.5 million.

There were multiple offers, according to Tilray, accepting an offer that contains conditions.

“We have a real shortage of industrial and light industrial land in Nanaimo in the area so this would’ve been a pretty attractive spot for someone else to move into,” said Kim Smythe, President and CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.

Smythe was among those trying to convince the Nanaimo City Council a decade ago that having Tilray in the city was a good idea.

Tilray arrived in 2014 with much fanfare and investment, spending $25 million locally in its first year.

“Absolutely groundbreaking. There was nothing like it in Canada. We were the first,” recalled Smythe.

Tilray was the first company licensed to sell medical marijuana in Canada.

At its peak, it had more than 200 employees working at its Nanaimo facilities.

Seismic changes were coming though with the federal government legalizing recreational cannabis in 2018.

“It was only ten years ago when we had to fight to get Tilray here and to get it open and now what we’ve been through in those 10 years and how culture has changed and our attitudes around cannabis have changed,” said Smythe.

In 2020, Tilray and Aphria merged and then, this past September, Tilray announced it would be shutting its Nanaimo operations as part of a consolidation.

“Not totally surprised that they’re leaving because the industry and the way it produces its product has changed quite a bit,” said Smythe.

The property buyer with the accepted offer is not in the cannabis industry.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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