Colorado cannabis chain Maggie’s Farm hastily closes 5 stores

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Colorado cannabis retail chain Maggie’s Farm is responding to criticism after it shuttered five locations in late February without warning employees.

The company closed two of its stores in the Pueblo area, one in Colorado Springs and its only outlets in Canon City and Las Animas, the Pueblo Chieftain reported.

Customers expressed anger at the closures, and some employees and vendors said they are still owed payment, according to the newspaper.

“We were just basically told our benefits run until Feb. 29 and we will receive COBRA forms” for short-term health insurance coverage, Eric Ruybal, a former store manager in Pueblo, told the Chieftain.

Maggie’s Farm CEO and founder Bill Conkling was asked by Colorado Springs TV station KRDO why employees hadn’t received warning.

“Isn’t that what businesses do? When you don’t – when you can’t keep a store open until the last minute?” Conkling responded, attributing the closures to high taxes and the cost of compliance.

Colorado cannabis sales have been slumping after soaring through the pandemic.

Maggie’s Farm also posted a lengthy online message to its employees, adult-use customers and medical marijuana patients:

“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 for everyone.”