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Curaleaf cannabis company to shut down operations in Oregon

The company described the move as a financial decision, casting blame in part on what it called "lack of meaningful enforcement of the illicit market."
Credit: AP
Customers enter a Curaleaf dispensary on April 21, 2022, in Bellmawr, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Recreational cannabis product maker Curaleaf announced Thursday that it plans to wind down "the majority" of its operations in Oregon, Colorado and California, as well as consolidate its facilities in its home state of Massachusetts.

The company described the decision as a financial one in a Thursday news release, stating that the states have contributed to the brand's growth but the company faces a "difficult operating environment" and it already began closing facilities and reducing its workforce in those states last year.

"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 us from generating an acceptable return on our investments," CEO Matt Darin added in a statement.

The various reductions are expected to lead to a 10% reduction in payroll, Curaleaf said. The company operates 147 dispensaries in 19 states and employs a staff of about 5,500, according to the news release. The company also markets products under the brand names Select and Grassroots. 

The Select brand was at the center of a recent incident that led to a $200,000 fine and 70-day suspension for the company in Oregon (later reduced to $130,000 and 23 days) after a bottling facility in Portland mixed up THC and CBD drops.

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, while CBD is a separate hemp derivative that is not psychoactive. Multiple customers who believed they were taking CBD actually took large doses of THC, resulting in unwanted symptoms. One of the customers sued the company.

Curaleaf became a major player in Oregon's cannabis industry in 2019 when it bought Portland-based Cura Partners.

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