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Apothecary Farms Opening New Garden of the Gods Dispensary

The new dispensary will be located at 414 Garden of the Gods Road, ten minutes away from the popular outdoor area.
The new dispensary will be located at 414 Garden of the Gods Road, ten minutes away from the popular outdoor area. Courtesy of Apothecary Farms
While record low medical marijuana sales are forcing some Colorado Springs dispensaries to close, Apothecary Farms has plans for a new store.

The growing chain of dispensaries will open a new location at 414 Garden of the Gods Road on Saturday, January 28, with a grand opening that includes product discounts, gear giveaways, food trucks and music from Apothecary favorite DJ Terpenoid.

Apothecary Farms has owned a second dispensary license in Colorado Springs for several years, according to marketing director Brent McDonald, but the license was connected to a cultivation. If Apothecary Farms wanted to use that license, the new store would have to be at the same location as the grow, or the growing license would have to be voided first. Record low prices for wholesale marijuana made that decision a little easier.

"It didn't make sense to keep that grow up anymore, and the dispensary and grow had to be together unless the grow was shut down. So we kept the dispensary license active, knowing we would eventually find the right location," McDonald explains.

The right location? A former car wash turned liquor store that also houses a gas station. It's "sort of small, but perfect for a dispensary," McDonald says, with Garden of the Gods a ten-minute drive away and a handful of hotels nearby.

"Our current store in the Springs, our mothership location, is in an industrial area. It's not an ideal high-traffic location. This was a play for the future," he notes.

Founded over seven years ago as a lone medical marijuana store in Colorado Springs focused on extracted products, Apothecary Farms is now one of the rare multi-state dispensary chains based in southern Colorado. The company had opened stores in Denver and Pueblo before recently expanding into Oklahoma, where it now has five medical marijuana dispensaries. Apothecary Extracts, a marijuana extraction brand under Apothecary Farms ownership, sells products at hundreds of dispensaries across both states.

Operating a dispensary off Interstate 25 and Garden of the Gods Road should give Apothecary Farms a stronger brand presence in its home town, according to McDonald, as well as a prime setup if the city ever allows recreational pot sales — but that's still a matter of if, not when.

In November, Colorado Springs voters soundly rejected a measure that would have allowed the city's 100-plus medical dispensaries to offer recreational sales, after a decade-long ban. Despite over $1 million in campaign support, the measure faced strong opposition from Mayor John Suthers and a slew of advertisements against the proposal.

"We were all surprised to see it lose the way it did. There was just no public support. The mayor was running propaganda about bringing more homeless to Colorado Springs, increasing drug use and hurting our relationship with the military," McDonald says. "We all thought it would pass, no problem, and then it got absolutely trounced. If we get another opportunity on the ballot, we'll need more grassroots and guerrilla marketing campaigns, and targeting current patients and advocates. I just didn't see that happening at dispensaries or around town the last time."

In the meantime, Apothecary has at least one more acquisition in its sights, this one on the cultivation and production side, but McDonald says the company isn't ready to share details just yet. 
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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