AllGreens is a new shop, but it's situated in one of Denver's oldest locations for medical marijuana dispensary -- which could be both a good thing and a bad thing. One one hand, the spot on the corner of Kalamath and Sixth Avenue is highly visible. On the other, it's been associated with some pretty low-grade herb thanks to the former owners, Cannabis Medical Technology.
762 Kalamath Street 303-658-0107 www.myallgreens.com
Owner: "Sean" (declined to give last name). Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Online menu: Yes. Other types of medicine: Hash, edibles. Handicap accessible? Yes.
I never made it in to Cannabis Medical, even with the shop's claim of being the first dispensary in Mile High. I never heard great things about the weed to begin with, and I couldn't take the increasingly obnoxious exterior latex graphics of dragons and marijuana leaves. The place always seemed like there was very little medical about it.
I wasn't alone in that sentiment. Westword's initial medical marijuana critic (he wrote temporarily before I was hired) was completely sketched out by the place. At the time, it was operating out of the back room of a printing shop also run by the previous owners, and staffers wouldn't allow him back into the dispensary unless he signed over his caregiver rights. Shit like that gets around, and you get a reputation pretty quick.
But that was then, this is now -- and now is AllGreens. Owner and grower Sean, who didn't give his last name or too much detail about the new shop, reveals that he was formerly associated with another dispensary due to the shotgun marriages of warehouses and dispensaries. AllGreens is his way of breaking out of that mold and offering patients smaller-batch herb, he says.
I'm sure by the time some of you make it in to AllGreens, the decor will have changed -- though that also depends on the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division okaying any structural changes to the dispensary. Currently, the entrance looks as if it leads to the print shop. I hit the buzzer, and about a minute later, my budtender (whom I later realized was also the owner) came and let me in the door.
Sean says he hopes to change the layout so people can enter from the Kalamath side of the building instead of through the parking lot off Sixth. The difference would mean easier handicap access for patients and a more lounge-like feeling, he says. For now, however, it's an undecorated shop with a few thrown-together glass countertops making up the bud-bar area. The shop has a lot of room, but for now, it's mostly unused, with a few folding chairs and so on taking up space.
Bud is separated by general stock and connoisseur ganja. Sean explained that all of the herb is grown the same, but the general stock tends to be buds from the middle and lower parts of the plants and receives a two-week cure and machine trim. In contrast, the connoisseur strains have a two-month cure and are trimmed by hand. The quality difference was clear in a lot of the strains, including the Sweet Tooth and Kong.
Sean was nice, explaining a lot about the strains as we went through them and pointing out qualities he liked both as a grower and as a puffer. Selection wasn't huge, so within a few minutes I had made my way through the tangerine-sweet top-shelf Sweet Tooth and Agent Orange, fuzzy-crystalled Cherynobyl, pungent Roadkill and Diesel-like Kong -- all of which were done in-house. AllGreens also had some smaller buds of Cherry Cola from Urban Cannabis, one of the few shops Sean says he'll trade herb with.
Sean told me later that his stock is grown in a coco mix using Canna and Advanced Nutrients, with a maximum of four plants per light and some plants getting their own. The AllGreens grow doesn't ever have more than 100 plants in flower, he says, nor do growers do things on a sea-of-green method. Still, he predicts he'll be able to keep up with demand and keep his prices between $30 and $40, on average, for an eighth, tax included, and even cheaper by the ounce, with some strains as low as $140 a zip.
I mostly stuck to the connoisseur strains, seeing as how they were priced at a reasonable $40. But from what I sniffed through on the lower shelves, the herb there seemed pretty decent as well -- just not as flashy and stinky. Only thing I would have avoided was the outdoor-like Fuma Con Diablo that was selling for $25 an eighth.
The shop usually carries hash and BHO, but the day I was in, just a few crumbs of bubble hash were on hand due to problems with the trim processors. AllGreens also stocked standard third-party edibles from Cheeba Chews, Dixie, CannaPunch and Phat Daddyz. But nothing caught my eye, which turned out to be a good thing, because AllGreens is currently cash-only and I had barely enough on me to cover the herb.
My one gripe about the place was charging $50 for an eighth of the connoisseur-level Kong when all of the other strains at that level sold for $40. Yes, it was a good strain with some very nice qualities to it, but not 25-percent-more-in-price better. I could maybe understand if the idea was to limit how much people buy of it so that more patients can try it. But ounces of it are selling for $200 for the rest of the month, so that doesn't seem to be the case. Otherwise, AllGreens is on the right track to buff out the low-quality, tarnished image of their location.
Chernobyl (connoisseur grade): $40/eighth To me, this Trainwreck cross resembles the small, skinny and silver-trichomed buds of good examples of that strain in appearance -- which isn't to say they're identical. The Chernobyl I brought home had some beautiful greens and oranges to the color, giving it a fruity look that matched the easy, fruity smell. Broken up, it let out a sweet citrus scent like the butter-lemon dipping sauce for an artichoke. It smoked with a similar sweetness on the first few hits before rounding out to a more generic ganja taste by the end. For a sativa-dominant strain, this put my head and body down like a double helping of turkey dinner. I had great forehead and eye relaxation after two hits and was put into a nice mellow place for a good hour and a half before being able to properly function again. I wouldn't seek out this strain in particular again, but what I brought home was well grown and worth the purchase.
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Kong (connoisseur grade): $50/eighth Every time I popped open a jar, the smell reminded me of strong diesel fumes mixed with, ironically, the rubbery scent of a new Kong dog chew toy. Oddly, there wasn't an extremely strong smell to the bud itself until you broke it up; then it released a much more pungent, nose-turning funk. Really pretty bud, too: dark green with hues of purple in just the right light and tiny calyxes covered in white trichomes that looked like Velcro under a microscope. Crystals fell like snowflakes on my desk while I was breaking up the herb for a spliff. It had a strong, Chemy (Chemdawg, not chemicals) taste to the first three or four hits, but it lost flavor by the middle of the joint. Smoked in a bowl later, the bud kept its flavor and burned to a white ash.
Now for the big question: Was it worth $50? No. It was a great cut of herb, and definitely better-looking than the cheaper, less-cured and machine-trimmed version Allgrens also sold. I get the extra time and effort that goes into it, and I'm the type of smoker the shop is probably trying to attract -- but paying four-year-old black-market prices for an eighth doesn't make sense to me anymore, especially when the other top-level strains sell for $10 less.
William Breathes is the pot pen name for our medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews over at Mile Highs and Lows and keep up with all of your marijuana news over at The Latest Word.