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Decline in demand for marijuana in Colorado leads to tough decision for Frisco business

Decline in demand for weed leads to tough decision for business
Decline in demand for weed leads to tough decision for business 02:31

After it became one of the first states in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado saw a huge boom in business from the companies that suddenly had a new market to dive into and new customers to sell to.

Now some of that heat has cooled off, and businesses like The Hydro Shack in Frisco are feeling the effects.

CBS Colorado's Spencer Wilson interviews Kim Onasch inside The Hydro Shack. CBS

At one time, The Hydro Shack's plant nutrient products aimed specifically at marijuana growers were moving off the shelves of the Summit County store quickly. Sales have slowed, and the owner of the business has decided to make a big change.

The Hydro Shack has always provided products for all types of plants and all types of gardeners. In the years since legalization, a big chunk of their clientele has been people planning to grow pot.

Kim Onasch said growing marijuana "is a hobby for a lot of people."

"And a lot of people have over the last 10 years have taken it commercial," she said.

That made for great business for Onasch, as people were coming in with big orders to fill and the sudden demand for weed was exploding in Colorado.

"For a while there, Colorado was sort of a special place. People would come here, it was kind of like a weed tourism place to come," she said. "So it was booming. Everybody wanted in on it. Everybody was growing."

That was until at least half of the states in the U.S. followed in Colorado's footsteps.

"Most of the dispensaries are just growing their own now. It has downscaled a lot because it has become legal in most of the 50 states," Onasch said. "No one is really coming to Colorado just for that anymore."

At one point, she says people were making monthly orders of $6,000 or more. Now the marijuana growers The Hydro Shack provides products for are mostly hobbyists.

Onasch is now packing up her supplies at the shop and selling the brick-and-mortar location in Summit County.

"When we broke even last year, we decided we were going to switch over and do deliveries and close the store," she said.

It's the end of an era, and indicative of the boom and bust business climate marijuana has brought to Colorado.

Onasch says she is just glad she was there for the ride Colorado experienced.

"I will miss all the smiling faces coming in here every day. My customers are amazing. And I will hopefully still get to see most of them doing deliveries."

"It's going to be hard to not come in here every day because I do love it here," she said.

The Hydro Shack's last day of business at its store location will be on 4/20.

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