Maggie's Farm abruptly closes five Colorado marijuana dispensaries, including two in Pueblo

Maggie's Farm abruptly closes five Colorado marijuana dispensaries, including two in Pueblo

Maggie's Farm, a Longtime Colorado Cannabis Company, Abruptly Closes Several Dispensaries.

Longtime Colorado cannabis company Maggie's Farm abruptly closed several of its dispensaries last week, shuttering five stores — including two in Pueblo — and leaving just three open for business.

The closures affect the Pueblo East store at 1400 Santa Fe Drive and the Pueblo West store at 74 N. Component Drive. The business's Cañon City and Las Animas stores have also closed, as has one Colorado Springs store, according to a Feb. 27 Facebook post on the Maggie's Farm page.

One Maggie's Farm location in Colorado Springs will remain open "indefinitely," as will its Manitou Springs location and its Pueblo North store at 4803 N. Interstate 25.

The move came as a surprise to employees who did not get advance notice or severance pay.

"Monday, we got an eviction notice" from the Pueblo West store's landlord, said Puebloan Eric Ruybal, who managed the store. "Tuesday, we got laid off."

"We were just basically told our benefits run until Feb. 29 and we will receive COBRA forms," for short-term health insurance coverage, Ruybal explained.

Ruybal told the Chieftain he worked for Maggie's Farm for more than two years. He said some employees still have not been paid and some vendors have not been compensated.

A March 1 Facebook post linked a letter from Maggie's Farm Founder Bill Conkling, in which he clarified that the decision to close some locations "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," the letter read.

In the letter, titled "A Sincere Message to Our Community," Conkling said, "Thank you for all of your comments and feedback. We are listening intently and understand the depth of hurt, disappointment, and frustration our recent actions have caused. For the disruption and pain, we sincerely apologize."

Conkling's letter also included an apology to employees.

"We've lost more than invaluable employees; we've lost friends and pillars of our community. The widespread frustration and disappointment were never our intentions, and for this, we are deeply sorry," the letter read.

Medical patients also were addressed in the letter.

"The pain caused by the closures, especially in communities like Cañon City, has been profound. We understand that apologies alone still fall short," Conkling said in the letter.

"Thank you again for your honesty, patience, and for holding us accountable. We are here and we are listening," Conkling's letter read.

According to Conkling's LinkedIn profile, he founded the company 14 years ago, initially serving medical marijuana customers. The company expanded into the recreational market a decade ago.

Maggie's built its brand on cannabis products that were free of pesticides and hormones, "grown in the fresh mountain air, nourished by sunlight, organic soil, and mineral-rich spring water before being slow-cured and hand-trimmed to unlock the strongest flavor, potency, and quality of every last bud," according to the business's website.

The Chieftain reached out to Conkling and the company via email and phone seeking comment but did not receive a reply before the newspaper's print deadline.

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Region: Colorado

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