Clever Leaves is joining the group of cannabis companies shutting down cultivation and laying off staff. Back in 2020, former CEO Kyle Detwiler said: "We have operations in Colombia, Portugal, and distribution assets in Germany. This means that, as soon as other EU countries will open up their cannabis market, we are already there, able to supply that." Now, it seems like that plan didn't realize. Clever Leaves expects its Portuguese flower cultivation, post-harvest processes, and manufacturing activities to cease in full by the end of the first quarter of 2023. This means that the company will focus its cultivation effort in its Colombian greenhouses only.
"By exclusively cultivating and producing our cannabinoid products in Colombia, we aim to leverage our existing cost efficiencies in the country as we ramp our dry flower offering," said Andres Fajardo, CEO of Clever Leaves. "We believe this transition will allow us to optimize our production infrastructure and drive increased cost savings, positioning us to compete more effectively in the global medicinal cannabis market. Although our decision was extremely difficult, we believe it is in the best interests of the company since it positions us more effectively to satisfy our customers' requirements. Additionally, we plan to incorporate the substantial learnings from our work in Portugal to enhance the success of our Colombian operations."
With this restructuring also comes the expected round of lay off. Fajardo concluded: "We are grateful for our affected team members and their contributions to Clever Leaves. While the decision to reduce our workforce was a very difficult one, it is an important extension of our ongoing work to align our expense base with our current revenue profile and improve our operating leverage over time. We expect our operational transition to drive significant long-term savings for the benefit of our customers and shareholders as we make progress towards profitability."