Most of the stand-alone pot shops on South Broadway are relics of years gone by, when medical marijuana and stoner shacks went hand in hand. With so many newfangled retail marijuana superstores now showing up in Denver, petite medical dispensaries like Little Brown House and Little Green Pharmacy are becoming a dying breed. But Walking Raven (2001 South Broadway), where it all began in 2009, is still going strong, and although it opened its doors to recreational customers last year, the tiny blue shop remains a blast from the past.
On a recent visit, I was helped by a budtender with the hair of Kurt Cobain and the voice of a field mouse; the two other customers in the disorganized bud room made the place feel claustrophobic — and I loved it. Without uttering a word, Kurt started pulling out jars of flower, pushing them my way and then putting them back in a sort of chill, harmonious, assembly-line way. After a few sniffs and push-backs, the sweet aromas of the shop’s Master Kush persuaded me to hand over $18 (after tax) for a gram.
I came across Master Kush frequently in college and have always wondered why it’s such a rarity on dispensary shelves; its relaxing effects were never overpowering, making it great for a stressful essay project or other assignment. Although Walking Raven’s variety was a little loose and leafy for my taste, the buds still had that trademark sweetness for which Master Kush is known, and its moss-green color matched up perfectly with the lingering earthy scents. Think Bubba Kush, but less intense.
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Master Kush doesn’t have OG genetics, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less gangster. Its Hindu Kush and Skunk heritage gives it a pedigree that has kept it around the weed world for decades, and its fruity coffee flavors make it a favorite in Amsterdam cafes. The strain from Walking Raven tasted just as it should, with the flavor of freshly harvested blueberries rounded out by a roasted earthiness, like a cup of Ethiopian Harrar coffee. The high was calming, both for my mind and my stomach. A quick sesh before a rec-league basketball game helped cure some pre-game jitters and relaxed my gut enough to let me eat the under-cooked omelet I made.
I may have underestimated its potency, though, because my jumper was way off. Even so, Walking Raven’s Master Kush filled every box on my sensory checklist and provided a clean, strong high. Just smoke it after you play sports, or you’ll be moving a little more slowly than everyone else.
Strain Gang is our weekly critique of a recreational cannabis strain. Find MMJ reviews at westword.com/news. Send review suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.