06/26/2015 10:06 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 05:59 EDT

Medical Marijuana Company On Vancouver Island Lays Off 61 Employees

The company generated more than $48 million last year, according to a report.

One of Vancouver Island's largest medical marijuana companies announced Thursday it is laying off 61 employees.

Tilray, based in Nanaimo, says the cuts were done to "more effectively serve patients."

Tilray opened it's doors in 2014 and at its peak employed nearly 200 people.

It's quite a change for the company that made its name as a major employer in the region. The company held numerous job fairs last year and in January hosted an information session in an effort to fill even more jobs.

A report released in March by the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation found Tilray generated more than $48 million last year and fostered 395 jobs during the construction and operation phase.

Ted Smith, founder of the Cannabis Buyers' Clubs in Victoria, wasn't surprised by the announcement.

"A number of companies that have been authorized by Health Canada have been very aggressive and I believe overestimated the profits that they'll be able to make off patients in this short amount of time," said Smith.

"Ì think we'd be doing a lot better by having dozens of smaller companies than having one large company controlling the market."


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