Curaleaf, one of the largest marijuana companies in the United States, has closed "the majority" of its operations in California, Oregon and Colorado, according to a recent announcement.
Headquartered in New York, Curaleaf has marijuana brands and facilities in 21 states and owned nearly 150 stores before the closures. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Curaleaf owns nineteen different active business licenses across the state, which cover a handful of growing operations, dispensaries and product manufacturing facilities.
State Marijuana Enforcement Division and DOR records show that the company owns at least three dispensaries in southern Colorado, including Pueblo West Organics and the Spot 420 stores in Pueblo and Trinidad. Curaleaf also owns Blue Kudu, a brand of marijuana-infused chocolate bars and gummies, as well as eleven cultivation operations. One of those is Los Sueños Farms in Pueblo County, one of North America's largest outdoor marijuana cultivations.
Curaleaf bought Los Sueños for a $67 million package in 2021. The website for the outdoor grow is also currently down, but the MED permit for the business remains active.
In its announcement, Curaleaf didn't include the names of the Colorado spots it closed as part of a "continued effort to streamline its business," but it did note that it will "exit" its cultivation and production facilities in this state. Curaleaf did not respond to a request for comment.
While Pueblo West Organics dispensary is closed, both of the Spot 420 locations are still open as of today, January 26. And although Blue Kudu's website is currently down, several Colorado dispensaries are still carrying Blue Kudu products.
Curaleaf has also cut its payroll by 10 percent and consolidated production in Massachusetts, according to the announcement, which included a lengthy statement from CEO Matt Darin:
"Today's announcement reflects a decision that we did not arrive at lightly, and one that makes sense for our business at this time. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to improve margins and fortify our balance sheet by controlling what we can in our business. We believe these states will represent opportunities in the future, but the current price compression caused by a lack of meaningful enforcement of the illicit market prevent us from generating an acceptable return on our investment," Darin's statement reads. "We are confident that these moves, made to improve our cashflow and margins, are the right ones to bolster the future success and profitability of Curaleaf. Optimizing the existing portfolio in this way allows us to enter 2023 in a position of strength and further enhances our visibility around continued margin expansion and highly profitable growth. We remain excited about our future growth prospects both domestically and internationally, and now can devote greater resources to tangible growth opportunities in emerging markets such as Europe."
State-legal marijuana markets have been hit by a sustained recession, with Colorado one of the states most impacted. Wholesale marijuana prices have dropped to record lows since recreational sales began in 2014, according to the DOR, while annual dispensary sales dropped over 20 percent from 2022 to 2023. The decline has forced dozens of marijuana businesses large and small to walk away from expansion plans, downsize or shut down altogether.
Earlier this month, Columbia Care, another multi-state operator with dozens of dispensaries across multiple states, announced it was closing three stores in Colorado. This followed a year full of dispensary closures and industry layoffs. According to economic forecasts from the governor's office, Colorado marijuana prices and revenue aren't expected to rebound until 2024 at the earliest.