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PULP

January 2020

High Hopes: Not One Typical consumer

Part 9: In Pueblo, Colo. the customers and their reasons for purchasing retail cannabis are as varied as the selections.

Eric Segovia, a regular at NuVue Pharma in Pueblo, said on his way into the shop that he has been smoking pot since he was 6. However, that was the only time he really got high. Now, he comes from his job at the northside Village Inn to get products for medical use. (Noah Weeks for PULP)


By Ana Mashek

High Hopes is a collaboration between PULP and Colorado College’s Journalism Institute.


There is no one typical cannabis user.

On a recent Monday, only about three people knew the whereabouts of Iowans Macheal Koenck and Linda Gregg, two best friends, or as they said, “more like sisters” as they headed to their kitchenette room at a local Motel 6 on their way back from NuVue Pharma in Pueblo.

That was on the fourth day following their move from Sioux City. They’re going to need to find a more permanent place soon — they’re paying $414 per week at the hotel. At the high price of leaving their families and incurring other moving and living costs, they’ve relocated to Pueblo because cannabis is legal, and “we don’t want to get into trouble.”

The pair have been longtime recreational users, but now they enlist the drug’s help for medical purposes — Gregg has fibromyalgia and Koenck deals with anxiety. “It calms everything down,” Koenck said. “I like being high too.”

So far, the duo is content with their decision to relocate to sunny Pueblo in southern Colorado, largely because Gregg doesn’t have to “snow blow and stuff,” like she would back in Sioux City where she predicts the temperature currently rounds out in the 20s and 30s.

Other customers certainly didn’t have to travel as far to get their hands on some easily accessible product.

Eric Segovia, a NuVue regular, said on his way into the shop that he has been smoking pot since he was 6. However, that was the only time he really got high.

Now, he comes from his job at the northside Village Inn, about a three-minute drive away, to get products for medical use to help ease lingering pain from an accident nearly 20 years ago when he broke both his legs skateboarding, and never received the proper care.

The cannabis keeps him calm. It’s been a savior in other areas of his life, as well.

“Marijuana is the one that helped me graduate college,” Segovia said.

About the Authors

Miriam Brown


Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Miriam is a student journalist at Colorado College’s Journalism Institute. She worked for CC’s independent student newspaper, The Catalyst, for two years in a variety of roles, including reporter, section editor, copy editor, and co-editor-in-chief.

Michael Gorman


Junior, studying race, ethnicity, and migration studies and journalism at Colorado College. From Bethesda, MD, with journalism experience in the Journalism Institute at CC as well as running The Sideline Observer, a student-run online media organization. @SidelineOMike

Noah Weeks


Noah grew up in St. Louis, MO, and is a senior Film and Media Studies major at Colorado College. His interests include public policy, political journalism, and sustainable international development, and his documentary “Guns for Everyone” was featured on Rocky Mountain PBS’s series “In-Short.” Noah can be found on @WeeksNoah.

Ana Mashek


Ana is from Swarthmore, PA. She’s currently a sophomore at Colorado College, where she is pursuing a degree within their Journalism Institute. She works for the school’s independently run newspaper, The Catalyst, as both a writer and layout editor. @ana_mashek

This series was produced by Colorado College Journalism students and PULP.

High Hopes

What has happened to Colorado’s ‘Napa Valley’ of weed?

Intro: In 2014, Pueblo was referred to as the “Napa Valley” of cannabis, but by whom?


Part 2: License and Registration, Please

What does it take to earn a license in a tightening Pueblo cannabis industry?

Part 2

Part 3: Rising Tide in the Desert 

How federal cannabis regulation trickles down to raise water prices for Pueblo businesses.

Part 3

Part 4: Bloom Doom, Seedless in Pueblo

How federal cannabis regulation trickles down to raise water prices for Pueblo businesses.

Part 4

Part 5: From the Ground Up

Fluctuating market prices have made hitting profit thresholds a veritable science for cannabis growers.

Part 5

Part 6: What happened to the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Testing? 

With only one functioning cannabis testing facility, how can retail owners and growers be sure of their product?

Part 6

Part 7: Driving the Business

The white vans army fuels gets the cannabis from grow to the store.

Part 7

Part 8: Seeds to Retail Shelves

What happens in a Pueblo dispensary, anyway?

Part 8

Part 9: Not One Typical consumer

The white vans army fuels gets the cannabis from grow to the store.

Part 9

Part 10: High Hopes: Profit, Taxes and the Budweiser of Cannabis

Which companies have found success or failure in the new and tumultuous landscape of cannabis in Pueblo County?

Part 10

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