Oregon CBD company lays off dozens of workers, blames FDA uncertainty

Dozens of employees have been laid off from an Oregon-based CBD company that launched less than five months ago.

Between 30 and 40 workers lost their jobs at Sentia Wellness, sources told The Oregonian. Sentia Wellness did not release an exact number.

Located in Portland, Sentia Wellness employed 150 workers and had raised $91 million to start, the newspaper reported. The company attributed the layoffs to an unclear regulatory environment.

“The FDA’s decision … to not provide regulatory clarity to the CBD industry has real world consequences. This layoff is one of them,” Elana Weiss, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement.

In early February, Sentia Wellness was chosen by New York-based Authentic Brands Group, owner of the Sports Illustrated brand, to roll out a line of CBD-infused topicals by the end of the year. The products include a recovery cream infused with 500 milligrams of CBD.

Sentia Wellness is a spinoff of Cura Cannabis, a troubled, Oregon-based marijuana company that recently paid a $110,000 fine to the state to settle charges that Cura falsely claimed its vaping products were 100% marijuana, even though they also contained additives.

Massachusetts-based multistate operator Curaleaf agreed to acquire Cura Cannabis in May 2019 and closed the sale on Feb. 1.

At the time, the all-stock deal was valued at almost $1 billion.