The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday edition that more than 100 licensed cannabis companies and their subsidiaries have received tens of millions of dollars in payments from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program, raising new questions about the policy intentions of the program and whether it meant to subsidize a sector that was already in the throes of consolidation. The Globe's Vanmala Subramaniam writes that at least 20 publicly traded cannabis companies cumulatively collected more than $40-million in CEWS payments, while dozens of others received the subsidy but chose not to disclose the amount in their financial filings.
For the cannabis industry, 2020 was the year of bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions, exposing the winners and losers of the sector after years of overspending. Some of the biggest cannabis companies that received CEWS -- including Canopy Growth, Aphria and Aurora -- chose to not disclose the amount they received in quarterly financials. Canopy Growth collected the subsidy for itself, as well as for three of its subsidiaries, Tweed, Les Serres Vert and Agripharm. Canopy's revenue grew significantly over the course of the pandemic. Aphria also enjoyed prolific revenue growth in 2020.
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