NEWS BRIEF Report: Canadian cannabis firms received millions in pandemic subsidies
Published 4 hours ago
Cannabis businesses in Canada benefited from millions of dollars in pandemic-related subsidies via the federal government, according to research by the publication the Deep Dive and verified by Marijuana Business Daily.
Other businesses tapped into interest-free loans and lending offered by the agricultural lender Farm Credit Canada (FCC), according to financial statements.
At least 18 cannabis businesses, ranging from producers to extractors, collected over 25 million Canadian dollars ($19 million) from the federal government’s Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program so far.
The CEWS program provides a 75% wage subsidy for businesses suffering a decrease in revenues, and was originally retroactive to March 15. The government has signaled it plans to extend CEWS to next summer.
In April, MJBizDaily reported that the subsidy could potentially benefit cannabis firms of all sizes, depending on their financial situations.
George Smitherman, CEO of industry group Cannabis Council of Canada, said cannabis businesses accessing CEWS “is encouraging evidence of companies responding to the remarkable challenges of COVID 19.”
“Preserving employment during a period of rapidly increasing operating costs was the objective and result of the Wage Subsidy Program.”
Canadian retail sales of adult-use cannabis reached a record of CA$256 million in September, implying an annualized market worth approximately CA$3 billion.