Hexo cuts will not affect Belleville cannabis facility

Click to play video: 'The HEXO plant in Belleville is still on track to open despite job losses at other facilities across the country' The HEXO plant in Belleville is still on track to open despite job losses at other facilities across the country
The Mayor of Belleville has reassurance that the HEXO facility will open later this year with beverage production. Over 400 full time are to be created. – Oct 25, 2019

The mayor of Belleville said recent job losses at Hexo Corp., a Quebec-based cannabis company, will not affect jobs at the company’s new Belleville processing facility.

Around this time last year, Hexo was expecting to hire several hundred employees for the Belleville facility, but the company recently announced it will be cutting about 200 jobs across the company.

READ MORE: Cannabis producer Hexo lays off 200 workers

When asked if the most recent cuts would affect the Belleville facility, a media spokesperson for Hexo said plans for the Belleville operation have not changed.

Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk says he learned on Thursday that these layoffs will not affect the Belleville facility, which is set to be housed in the old Sears warehouse and distribution centre.

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Hexo initially stated that it would be looking to hire around 200 employees for the Belleville operation, but on Thursday, Panciuk said that number was more like 400, and that this is still the goal for the company.

The Belleville processing plant was meant to be open April of this year, but it has yet to open. Panciuk says renovations are still going ahead on the 2.5-million-square-foot facility.

Back in November, Hexo held an open house in Belleville for those contemplating working at the new facility.

Adam Miron, Hexo co-founder and chief brand officer, told Global News during that open house that Belleville was “almost the gift that keeps on giving.”

“Belleville makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons. But initially what brought us here was the location, the access to the transport and the proximity to the cities,” Miron said.

In a new release sent out on Thursday, Hexo said the layoffs are a result of lower-than-expected revenue last quarter. The cannabis company is partly attributing the low revenue to a lack of retail markets for their products.

Click to play video: 'Kingstonians welcome the city’s second retail cannabis store' Kingstonians welcome the city’s second retail cannabis store
Kingstonians welcome the city’s second retail cannabis store – Apr 5, 2019

“The delay in retail store openings in our major markets has meant that the access to a majority of the target customers has been limited.”

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The company also noted some regulatory uncertainty in the market, and limitations on cannabis derivative products have hurt it.

On Friday, Panciuk said the company needed the Belleville facility to keep up with distribution. There are no plans for growing cannabis in Belleville at this time, but Hexo is planning to use that facility for logistics, distribution and packaging.

With files from Neil McArtney

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