Layoffs at Valens; still fast growing, says CEO

Published on December 1, 2021 by David Wylie

Photo: Contributed
Valens expanded its Kelowna offices in 2020. It looks like the company is now decreasing it.

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. 

The Valens Company CEO Tyler Robson contacted the oz. to say things couldn’t be better at the company.

“We’re the fastest growing cannabis company in Canada,” he tells the oz. “Its been a crazy time, we’ve bought four businesses, things are changing. Everything in our company is great. It couldn’t be better.”

Still, Robson confirmed the company let six people go, including two in R&D, two in engineering, and one in validation.

“It’s because we’ve wrapped up all the projects that we needed to do for the next three years,” he says.

He says the company also “repurposed” 19 people as the business changes.

“If you look at integration, how many brand managers do you need? We can’t keep everybody all the time.”

With the acquisition of Citizen Stash for example, he says, there are now too many people in the regulatory department.

“The business is evolving. I’m sure some people don’t like the tough decisions that have to be made. But it’s the nature of the beast. The business is evolving exactly as it should in the space.”

ORIGINAL: 2:30 p.m.

The Valens Company has laid off a number of employees, affecting mostly R&D.

Sources have confirmed to the oz. that the cannabis corporation has shed jobs in Kelowna; however, it’s unclear how many. Research and Development and Valens Labs were particularly affected.

Valens has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

(We will update if they do.)

What is going on at The Valens Company?

In the past six months, Valens [VLNS] stock has dropped 30%.

The company’s powerbase is increasingly shifting to Toronto, with agencies and numerous shareholders brought to the table through acquisitions of Citizen Stash, LYF, Verse, and Green Roads.

Toronto is becoming the Valens HQ, with Kelowna its manufacturing hub.

We have seen this story before.

  • RELATED: Q&A with The Valens Company President

In a recent interview with the oz., Valens President Jeff Fallows promised change for shareholders.

“As we entered 2021, we were very clear that we were going to leave 2021 a different company than when we entered,” he said.

“The capabilities that we’ve added and will continue to add for the rest of the year are exactly what our shareholders should be expecting us to do and we’re excited about delivering on the promises we made to them.”

The company had grown to 370 employees this fall, according to Fallows, with about 40 in Toronto.

It may be telling to know how many employees the company has now—and where they are all based.

*Minor updates 2:27 p.m.