My statement on this morning’s announcement from Canopy GrowthFebruary 9, 2023
Today, Canopy Growth announced that it is laying off 46% of its workforce in Smiths Falls, ON. This announcement comes as a shock to the many workers and their families, so it is appropriate for everyone’s thoughts and prayers to be with them today.
While there are many reasons that this industry is retrenching, the overwhelming factors are the direct responsibility of the incumbent federal government: unreasonably high taxation and a high-cost regulatory burden that drives up the compliance costs of licensed cannabis producers without a commensurate benefit for public safety.
For five years, cannabis producers have lobbied for a more reasonable and business-friendly approach to regulating their industry. On Parliament Hill, a multi-partisan Cannabis Industry Caucus has been formed to assist in this task. This work has fallen on deaf ears, and the Liberal government has made it virtually impossible for producers to lower their costs and establish a basis for turning a profit.
The result is that Canada’s first-mover advantage has been largely squandered. With a head start on the rest of the world, because we legalized before all other major economies, Canada should have been in a position to build the infrastructure (physical infrastructure, corporate and financial infrastructure, and intellectual infrastructure) to become the world’s dominant player in this rapidly expanding field, dominating it for decades in much the way that other countries have been able to build permanent market dominance in areas where they had, in past decades, been the first movers (Switzerland in chocolate, for example).
This momentum has now been lost, and the present round of job losses is just one more example of the damage.
There is a single cause for this mess: The Trudeau government’s casual lack of seriousness, when it comes to doing the practical business of creating a taxation and regulatory environment in which this industry could, and should, flourish.
Until today, Canopy was the largest single private-sector employer in the constituency that I represent, and it continues to be a leader in the industry. What a shame that our government has destroyed the potential that it had, to bring prosperity to this corner of small-town Ontario, and to the Canadian economy as a whole.
Scott Reid, M.P.
Announcement from Canopy Growth: