Kentucky hemp producer announces layoffs after season of business challenges

A prominent Kentucky hemp company plans to lay off an unannounced number of employees.

GenCanna Global, headquartered in Winchester, told Lexington TV station WKYT that market conditions in the hemp industry have led the company to “responsibly resize our staffing levels” to move the company forward.

The privately held company did not say how many employees would be laid off, only that “a number of valued members” of the team were paid severance and other benefits.

A spokeswoman told Hemp Industry Daily on Thursday that the company would not answer further questions about how many jobs would be lost.

The layoffs come after a raft of business challenges caused setbacks for GenCanna over the past few months:

  • A group of farmers announced lawsuits against the company in the fall, alleging broken contracts and inferior seed. GenCanna has partnered with more than 60 local farms, growing more than 30 million plants on more than 6,000 acres.
  • In November, part of its production facility in Winchester, Kentucky, exploded and caught fire with employees inside. No one was injured, but significant property damage resulted.
  • Building contractors filed 19 liens on the property in September and October, saying GenCanna owed them more than $13 million. The liens delayed construction of the company’s Mayfield processing facility.