Elite Green Organics is a flashback to the early days of dispensaries -- like, last summer

This dispensary has closed.

In "Mile Highs and Lows," Westword offers a no-holds-barred look at what goes on behind the locked doors of marijuana clinics (see our dispensary list here), whether they resemble swanky bars, sterile dentist's offices or a dope dealer's college dorm room.

This week, the Wildflower Seed reviews Elite Green Organics:

Elite Green Organics 804 South College Avenue, Suite C, Fort Collins 970-214-6626 www.elitegreenorganics.com

Hours of operation: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Owner: "Beau" Owner's statement: "I went to a dispensary and I saw the prices were outrageous. That's really why I started." Opened: February 2010. Raw marijuana price range: $14-$16 per gram. Other types of medicine: Hash, oils, edibles. Patient services and amenities: ADA-accessible.

Our take: Wanderlust is something I inherited. It flows strongly through my gene pool, back-crossed through the tough line of farmers and sheepherders, diligent accountants and church-going physical therapists; crazy women bicycling through snowstorms with loaves of bread during the Potato Famine and illegitimate heirs escaping murderous mobs provide the transgenes. I am the progeny, and while this lust fills my life with adventure and wonder, it is still a beast I need to feed. Summertime intensifies the inherent urge to wander, and I find myself heading off on frantic weekend road trips, packing a bottle of water, hiking boots, some granola bars and a little glass pipe as an emergency kit.

These trips provide ample opportunity to explore new clinics, as hiking and especially driving annoy my vertebrae and sacroiliac until my back is ablaze with little neurological fires and my right arm is numb. So a recent trek to Cache La Poudre Canyon made a perfect excuse for stopping at Elite Green Organics, a hole-in-the-wall dispensary located at the back of the somewhat infamous Rock N' Robin's music shop.

Elite Green is pretty much a glorified closet -- and a messy one at that, with tapestries serving as doors and a cash register on the floor (my budtender had to sit down on the floor and move stuff to find it). A white board mounted in a corner offers the price guidelines, but so much random junk competed for attention that I had a hard time locating the thing, even though it was right in front of me. EGO has the thrown-together feel of the early heyday of Denver's dispensary scene (sooo last summer), and I kind of liked that. It seems uncorrupted by the money pouring into many of the area's surviving and thriving dispensaries, like a simple, back-to-basics pit stop on your way to the real adventure.

My budtender, a charmingly scattered and energetic young hippie chick who obviously loves her job, assured me that everything was organic and that the dispensary grows 70 percent of the nearly forty varieties of herb on display. As for the other 30 percent, "We know the growers," she said. "They're our friends. We're trimming with them, so we see how they take care of it."

My experience corroborated the organic claim: The bud shelf, which I could peruse free range-style to my heart's content, had the ripe scent of a garden in bloom. With so much to choose from in such a small space, I expected the whole shelf to have the singular aroma of marijuana-marinade. Instead, strong and unique scents blasted out of each jar as I opened them to sample the wares.

I loved the chocolates: Chocolope, Chocolate Diesel and just plain Chocolate. Variety is the spice of life, correct? But as I was trying to decide which cacao-inspired treat I'd be bringing home, I spied a jar glistening in the back, labeled simply "Diesel." The tender said this was an Indica-dominant heavy-hitter, and while she was unsure of the exact parentage beyond a vague allusion to Chem Dog, she explained that this was the strain that NY Sour Diesel is derived from. Diesel is a vastly popular strain with a wide variety of spinoffs and a certain degree of controversy regarding its seed-bank heritage, so I was hoping for a little more information on this Deez. But the small, dense buds coated in sugar coaxed me into a purchase. It didn't have the deep, rich diesel-fuel aroma I've gushed over before; this was more of an earthy scent with faint, sweet, gasoline undertones. The high was a light kick to the head, a quick rush and then a lingering, stony cerebralism.

I also bought some Grapefruit, whose scent had caught me off-guard. Seriously, I've had plenty of real grapefruits that wish they smelled like this. The budtender laughed when I looked up with a big smile on my face. She likes to save that for last, she told me, because so many customers don't want to smell anything else after they emerge from that jar. My only complaint about this herb was that it lacked staying power; it wasn't exactly a knock-you-out, couch-lock kind of high. True to the name's suggestion, the sweet-tasting herb made a better wake-and-bake.

Not that I minded on a sunny afternoon, wandering up the Poudre with nowhere in particular on my mind.

The Wildflower Seed and William Breathes are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.

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