The move by Civilized impacts personnel from both its Saint John, NB and Los Angeles offices
Civilized, the New Brunswick-based cannabis publication, has laid off its entire staff just weeks before the holidays. The untimely and unfortunate situation comes just ahead of the company’s acquisition by New Frontier Data – the Washington, DC-based analytics company. Initial reports by both companies reference the cuts as being “temporary,” however no reinstatement date has yet been provided.
The publication’s founder, Derek Riedle launched Civilized in 2015, describing it as “Cigar Aficionado meets Huffington Post meets cannabis.” The magazine gained traction in the years prior to legalization, and went on to sponsor events such as the Moonlight Bazaar in Saint John NB and the World Cannabis Congress. Civilized also received hundreds of thousands of dollars in public money over the past few years, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing.
The company was issued a warning from Health Canada in 2018 due to images on its – then, newly launched – website for portraying people in situations with violated federal cannabis advertising laws. 2018 also saw a failed attempt by Civilized to acquire Toronto-based Business Of Cannabis.
2019 has proven to be a rocky year for a number of companies operating in the cannabis marketplace. Licensed producers, cannabis retailers, publications, and others have all been forced to contend with the realities associated with any hot “new” industry. Some say the pot bubble has burst, and some notable shockwaves include:
- Licensed producer, Hexo Corp. shutting down facilities and laying off 200 employees
- California tech company, Weedmaps cutting over 100 employees
- CannTrust, amidst everything else, being forced to eliminate a large part of their workforce
- Wayland Group Corp. (operators of Maricann Cannabis) filing for creditor protection
What makes the Civilized layoffs seem decidedly uncivilized is the timing. Corporate misgivings in the month of December often bring to mind the Dickensian actions of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
A little harsh? Maybe.
In light of these events, the symbolic Christmas turkey that Puff Digital would like to offer to the Cratchit family table is an open invitation for all affected individuals to submit a resume to [email protected]. Please note, Puff Digital is based in Toronto.
We’re always looking for talented people to contribute to all aspects of our network.
At a time when employment in the cannabis space seems at its most volatile, we wish to offer sympathy and support to our friends, formerly at Civilized.
Connor is the former Editor-In-Chief for Puff Digital and now a contributor at large. He has been cultivating the written word for over twenty years. His background in music and entertainment landed his band “Boys Night Out” a Juno nomination in 2003, and the group’s 2007 concept album “Trainwreck” went on to garner a great deal of critical acclaim and inspire a theatre production of the same name.