A new retail marijuana dispensary opened in Ordway on Monday.
The store is an outlet of Mesa Organics Ltd., founded by Jim and Pam Parco, and the first of four planned dispensaries in the lower Arkansas Valley. It’s located just north of the intersection at U.S. 96 and 71.
Mesa Organics has seen success in the few years it’s been open. On June 5, a merger was announced between Medicine Man Technologies, a consulting firm, and Mesa Organics, with potentially more mergers planned for the future.
Jim Parco believes that they are well on their way to creating the golden standard of cannabis regulation and an exemplary model for cannabis producers nationwide. That’s a significant goal, but it wasn’t originally what Parco had in mind for an endgame. As with many things in life, the Parcos’ journey through the recreational marijuana industry had small beginnings.
Parco and his wife Pam Parco have been together since they were 15 years old. Jim was born in Pueblo and raised on a family farm near a restaurant that he said was famous in the ’50s and ’60s — Greenwoods Cafe, named after the family that owned it, and it was a booming local business.
“People came from La Junta, Rocky Ford, Canon City, all over, on Friday nights for chicken dinners,” said Parco. “It was very historic.”
But that changed in 1980 when the family sold the building. It became a bar, and then transitioned through a series of Mexican restaurants until the roof finally collapsed about a decade later.
The same year the Greenwoods family sold their property, the Pueblo steel mill reduced its staff by thousands of workers over a period of about six months, Parco recalled.
“In a town of 100,000 people,” said Parco. “It decimated Pueblo.”
Parco said Pueblo became a hard place to live after