Burglary nearly put Craig Apothecary out of business, owner says
A burglary at the Craig Apothecary in October threatened to close the medical marijuana dispensary, but the owner said he wanted to keep the store open so his longtime clients wouldn’t have to leave town to get their medical marijuana products.
The Craig Apothecary on Breeze Street was burglarized overnight on Oct. 29, resulting in the theft of about $32,000 in inventory.
Shaun Hadley, who has owned the Apothecary since it opened 13 years ago, came to the shop on Oct. 30, a Sunday, to find the dispensary had been burglarized the night before. Hadley found significant damages to the Apothecary, including broken exterior windows and interior display cases.
At least $32,000 worth of inventory was taken from the shop, including sealed bags of cannabis flower, boxes of edibles and other cannabis products. Also stolen were several 3D-printed, made-to-order collectibles from Hadley’s side business, HOPToys.
On Nov. 18, Preston Colvin was arrested on a warrant and charged with property damage and burglary in association with the incident. His bail was set at $10,000, and Colvin was released from the Moffat County Jail on Dec. 9 on a $5,000 bond.
“The Craig Police Department was really great; they took the case seriously,” Hadley said, adding that officers even took time to help him cover up the broken exterior windows.
Hadley said that for some reason, the alarms didn’t go off when the burglary occurred, and it’s been a learning curve for him in terms of what is needed for security at the shop. He added that insurance for cannabis businesses is costly and often not worth carrying for small businesses.
Hadley estimated that if he had paid for insurance over the year, the premiums would have outweighed the price of the stolen items.
Hadley later learned from the police report that the burglary at the Apothecary was among a series of alleged crimes that night, as Colvin has also been accused of stealing a side-by-side off-highway vehicle from a residential garage and trying to break into a pawn shop before burglarizing the medical marijuana dispensary.
In addition to the stolen merchandise, approximately $2,400 in cash was taken from Apothecary the night of the burglary.
Colvin’s next appearance in Moffat County District Court is scheduled for Jan. 12. Reached over email, officials with the Craig Police Department declined to comment on the case.
After being in business for 13 years and weathering numerous policy changes in the cannabis industry, Hadley said the burglary was almost the “nail in the coffin for the Apothecary.”
The way he described it, running the Apothecary is largely a labor of love for Hadley, who is also the owner of HoneyBear Apothecary, a recreational marijuana dispensary at 227 E. Victory Way in Craig.
Hadley said that his dad died from cancer and his dad’s death helped him understand the important role that medical cannabis products serve for clients with chronic or terminal illnesses.
“I believe in what we’re doing here,” Hadley said. “The recreational side is fun, but my heart is on the medical side.”
Hadley said the Apothecary has a small dedicated following of medical clients whom he wants to continue serving. He said he doesn’t want those clients to have to go outside of the county for the products they are used to getting locally.
Now that recreational cannabis sales are legal in Colorado, Hadley said he anticipates that most medical dispensaries will sunset sometime in the near future.
There are some notable differences between recreational and medical marijuana sales in Colorado. Recreational marijuana customers are allowed to purchase up to 1 ounce of flower per day, while the limit for medical clients is twice that.
Also, recreational products are subject to a 15% sales tax that was levied by Colorado voters in 2013, in addition to the excise tax that was imposed in 2012 with the passing of Amendment 64 to legalize possession and consumption of cannabis for recreational use.
In 2019, Moffat County became one of the last Colorado counties to legalize recreational cannabis sales, leaving Colorado Springs as the only remaining area in the state that allows medical marijuana stores but not recreational sales. With most of the state moving to recreational sales, the guidelines that govern medical use and sales have changed, and it has become more difficult for users to obtain a medical card.
According to Hadley, the biggest difference between medical and recreational guidelines likely concerns edibles. He said many local clients depend on the Apothecary for medical products in the range of 1,000 mg for around $65 to $75. Hadley said the same dosage on the recreational side would cost a patron upward of $300.
This is not the first time Hadley’s career in the cannabis industry has faced challenges. When he first opened the Apothecary, cannabis was not widely accepted in the community. But over time, Hadley has seen people become more open minded, and he thinks there is still room for growth in the local cannabis industry.
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