The pioneering Nanaimo cannabis giant Tilray has finally pulled out of the city, taking with it roughly 170 jobs. Last week, it found a conditional buyer for its flagship property in the city which was listed for more than $18 million.
Canada's first legal medical cannabis grower opened its Vancouver Island facilities to great fanfare in April 2014, a year-and-a-half before the election of the federal Liberal government on a promise to legalize cannabis.
"Its departure from Nanaimo is a loss for the city." The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce's president said Tilray was a major player, contributing $25 million to the local economy in its first year alone.
"There was nothing like it in Canada," Kim Smythe said. "We were the first. It was quite a coup at the time." The company continues to operate elsewhere in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia and Latin America. Tilray says its merger with Ontario giant Aphria nearly a year ago makes it the "world's largest cannabis company" thanks to combined revenues of $685 million.
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