Colorado marijuana retail chain closes five of eight shops

Maggie’s Farm launched when Colorado was still a burgeoning medical marijuana market.

Longstanding Colorado cannabis retail chain Maggie’s Farm shuttered five of its eight shops suddenly last week, another indication of harsh market conditions in the nation’s oldest legal recreational marijuana market.

The closures leave the 14-year-old company with one store in Colorado Springs, one in Pueblo North, and one in Manitou Springs, The Pueblo Chieftain reported. The shops that closed included two in Pueblo, one in Las Animas, and one in Cañon City.

Company founder Bill Conkling wrote on social media that the decision to close the five stores “was not made lightly or with the intention of benefiting (the company) at the expense of our employees and customers.”

“Faced with unforeseen challenges, we found ourselves in a position where we had to make an impossible choice to ensure the survival of Maggie’s Farm,” Conkling wrote. He also apologized to employees in the letter for “frustration and disappointment” over the situation.

The abrupt shutterings came as a shock to some employees, who said they were left unemployed without severance pay, The Chieftain reported. Maggie’s Farm also still has outstanding debts with some vendors, former employees told the newspaper.

“Monday, we got an eviction notice” from one Maggie’s Farm landlord, said Pueblo West store manager Eric Ruybal. “Tuesday, we got laid off.”

“We were just basically told our benefits run until Feb. 29 and we will receive COBRA forms,” Ruybal told The Chieftain.

Maggie’s Farm launched when Colorado was still a burgeoning medical marijuana market and transitioned to recreational sales when that began in 2014. But the business has not been immune to widespread market turbulence.

The state’s cannabis market has been struggling for years according to state data, which shows that 2023 was the worst sales year since 2017.

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