Talk to any cannabis business owners in Colorado today, and they’ll have something to say about consolidation. Some of them are doing the consolidating, while others are doing their best to not be eaten.
Still, familiar cannabis company names have disappeared as the industry and its financing mature. For a quick walk down marijuana memory lane, here are eight dispensary chains that once looked destined for expansion, only to be consumed.
Most of the entrants on this list were taken out because of cannabis capitalism, but not Sweet Leaf. Once one of the largest dispensary chains in Colorado, Sweet Leaf saw all of its dispensaries raided throughout 2017 and 2018 by the Denver Police Department, state Marijuana Enforcement Division and other local law enforcement agencies as part of an investigation into the company for looping, or illegal pot sales. Those raids eventually led to Sweet Leaf losing all of its dispensary, cultivation and infused-product manufacturing licenses in Colorado, with the company’s three co-owners each sentenced to a year in prison and executive leadership receiving jail time, as well.
The dispensary chain’s eight locations in Denver are no longer marijuana stores, but the MED did allow another dispensary operation, Xclusive Cannabis, to buy former Sweet Leaf dispensaries in Aurora and Federal Heights — as long as there’s no mention of the Sweet Leaf name.
MMJ America’s final storefront is under new ownership and undergoing a brand transition to LOVA.
One of the louder, prouder dispensary chains that is no longer with us, MMJ America was a regular presence at cannabis cups and early Denver pot events, and operated four dispensaries in Denver and Boulder at its height in 2015. But founder Jake Salazar left MMJ America in 2017, and the stores started falling