PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Curaleaf Holdings, Inc., one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S., announced on Jan. 26 that it plans to close a majority of its operations in Oregon, California and Colorado later this month in order to “streamline” its profits.
Curaleaf spokesperson Jordon Rahmil told KOIN 6 that the cannabis grower, processor and retailer will ultimately shut down all of its Oregon facilities for production and cultivation, but said that it will keep its sole Oregon dispensary open in Northeast Portland until it can find a buyer for the shop. The company estimates that the downsizing will reduce payroll costs by 10% as it plans to cut its operational costs by $60 million.
“Companywide, less than 4% of Curaleaf team members were impacted by the reduction in workforce,” Curaleaf said. “Moving forward in Oregon, the company will cease operations at its production and cultivation facilities, and Curaleaf’s Oregon retail location will remain open as the company seeks a buyer for these assets.”
Curaleaf would not expand on the exact number of jobs that were reduced when asked by KOIN 6 News.
Before the announcement, the company operated 142 dispensaries and 26 processing sites across 21 states. Following the latest defeat of the SAFE Banking Act, a piece of legislation that would have allowed state-regulated cannabis businesses to access banking services, the company is recoiling.
“The Company acknowledges the difficult operating environment in these investment states and will instead place a laser focus on cash generation in its core revenue-driving markets moving forward,” Curaleaf said in its announcement. “Curaleaf began aggressive cost-cutting measures in these states in 2022 through facility closures and reductions in workforce. These adjustments were necessary for the future success and profitability of the business and were made as a result of recent legislative decisions, price compression, and lack of enforcement of the illicit market.”
The Safe Banking Act was supported by Oregon Democratic senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Wyden issued a response to the failed legislation in December, calling the defeat a “public safety issue.”
“I am frustrated and disappointed that after coming so close to meaningful cannabis reform this Congress, the Republican Leader and a handful of Republican senators thwarted our efforts to improve public safety,” Wyden said. “Because when you are forcing businesses to operate as cash only, it is a public safety issue. While action on SAFE Banking may no longer be possible in 2022, you better believe I’m going to keep fighting in the new Congress to bring common sense to the federal treatment of cannabis and begin to repair the harms done by the failed War on Drugs.”
Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin stated that the cuts were made in the interest of the company’s shareholders and that it may reinvest in Western states in the future. Currently, the company is considering new opportunities in the foreign market.
“We believe these states will represent opportunities in the future, but the current price compression caused by a lack of meaningful enforcement of the illicit market prevent[s] us from generating an acceptable return on our investments,” Darin said. “We are confident that these moves, made to improve our cash flow and margins, are the right ones to bolster the future success and profitability of Curaleaf … We remain excited about our future growth prospects both domestically and internationally, and now can devote greater resources to tangible growth opportunities in emerging markets such as Europe.”