Employment Law

B.C. cannabis stores laying off staff as job action halts deliveries


Running out of product due to an ongoing strike by the British Columbia General Employees’ Union (BCGEU), cannabis stores across B.C. are closing their doors and laying off a significant number of staff.

  • Mood Cannabis has cut 90 per cent of its workforce at two of its stores in Nanaimo
  • Flora Cannabis has temporarily laid off 30 employees

Supplies started to dry up after the BCGEU, which represents around 33,000 public-service workers in the province, began its fight for better wages on August 15, 2022.

The union set up picket lines at four Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) wholesale and distribution centres.

While retail liquor and cannabis stores are not part of the strike, the cannabis division of the Burnaby customer care centre is. In response, the LDB announced that its cannabis distribution centre will not:

  • Accept or ship product
  • Assemble orders
  • Process invoices
  • Purchase orders

In an email to CBC News, Jaclynn Pehota, Executive Director of the Retail Cannabis Council of B.C., said it’s likely that 30 per cent of legal pot retailers in the province will not reopen once the job action is resolved.

In a letter to Premier John Horgan, the organization is calling on the provincial government to take immediate action to protect B.C.’s legal cannabis sector.

“If these businesses are not offered immediate financial relief to secure their payroll and pay hard costs, many of these businesses will close forever, and B.C. will permanently lose market share to the black market.”

Aurora Cannabis laying off 12% of workers, reorganizing
Canopy Growth Layoffs and Severance Pay
Layoffs in Canada

Termination agreements for cannabis industry employees

Non-unionized employees and senior executives in the cannabis sector are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing or corporate restructuring.

Severance in B.C. can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance packages in mass layoffs
Employment lawyer on worker rights in the event of a layoff

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract. We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper compensation if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you aren’t given the full amount (which happens often) you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

Fired? Lost Your Job?

Contact Canada's most positively reviewed employment law firm today to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve

Get Help Now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get help now