Two years ago, when we first stopped by Chronorado Medical in Denver, we left unimpressed but hopeful after discovering the White Urkle we brought home was infested with bugs. It was a shame, because otherwise, the buds were plump, ripe with THC goodness and stank to high heaven with light grapey, earthy goodness.
Now, with the bug issue under control, Chronorado is putting out some well-grown (and gnat-free) medical cannabis.
6625 Leetsdale Dr. Denver, CO 80224 303-951-5151 Website: Chronorado Medical on Facebook
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range (members): $25/eighth-ounce, $180/ounce. Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $30/eighth-ounce, $200/ounce. Other types of medicine: BHO, shatter, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
Not much has changed otherwise at Chronorado. The name of the shop still sounds like a third-tier jam band and the rundown shopping center on Leetsdale it calls home still could use a face lift (and a repave of the parking lot). But inside, the shop is clean and the chocolate-colored décor has held up over the last two years of wear and tear pretty well.
I waited for a second at the receptionist window for someone to show up, and within a minute, I was being ushered back to the bud bar while my information was copied into the shop's system (again).
Inside, things seemed less bare than the last time I was in. The setup is still the same, with a C-shaped bud bar jutting out into the tan-tiled, spacious dispensary. The clone cabinet was stocked with $15 clones representing most everything on the shelves, including relatively elusive strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Hell's Angels OG. Another set of cabinet set up along the back wall of the shop hold various pipes, bongs, papers and vaporizers for sale. Pipes start at just $10, and though the glass isn't anything show-worthy, it will do the trick.
Edibles don't seem to be too big of a deal at Chronorado, and the selection in the bud bar was pretty similar to the last time we were in. Most of the selection is the usual Dixie/CheebaChews/EdiPure/Incredibles fare, as well as boxes of $60 brownie/THC mix from At Home Baked. Concentrates made from Chronorado trim and buds were processed by Colorado Concentrates, with grams of "flake" wax and "peanut budder" selling for $35 a gram. Neither looked all that appealing to me (I'm growing increasingly disillusioned with waxes in general), but the shop also offers strain-specific shatter from Top Shelf Extracts for $45 a gram. However, they were completely out of shatter oil the day I was in. The shop also has a decent selection of vape pens and cartridges for sale, for those of you who feel that cannabis flowers aren't the finished product.
Herb is sold at two price tiers: regular and sale buds. The shop also has pre-weighed ounces of buds sitting in plastic baggies on one of the shelves of the bud bar that go for $160; that's $20 less per-ounce than if you were to get an ounce of the top buds directly out of the stock jar. Sale buds sell for $30 an eighth and $180 an ounce ,while non-sale buds sell for $40 an eighth and $220-$230 an ounce.
Staffers are -- like last time -- friendly and really enjoyed talking about the cannabis in stock, how it was grown and what their picks and choices were. I didn't get my budtender's name, but he was a younger dude in his twenties who didn't mind me taking my sweet time going through the jars as other patients (all recognized by staff and greeted by their first names) came and went beside me.
White Urkle from Chronorado.
Interestingly, the first batch of herb my budtender showed me was a jar of White Urkle -- the same strain I brought home two years ago that had dozens of dead gnats inside. I'm very happy to report that I didn't see any pests this time, and the buds looked outstanding, with a slathering of amber trichomes covering every square millimeter of the flower. Breaking the bud up over my desk left a dusting of kief, hinting at the high-potency I was about to get myself into. A bowl of the delicious-smelling grapey/body odor funk buds left an earthy aftertaste in my mouth and my head slowly spinning down to pure, mellow bliss. I managed to partially control the pain of a severe migraine with this strain as well, and along with a cup of coffee for the caffeine, I was able to get on with my day within an hour. Very well grown, and certainly the type of quality that would inspire me to revisit a shop again and again.
Lemon Diesel from Chronorado.
The other strain I brought home last time, the Hell's Angels OG, was also on the shelf and was better than before; it featured a beefed-up smell and noticeably more trichome coverage. I also was impressed by the extremely purple Purple Kush, an old-school Super Skunk and a citrus-orange tangy Tang. The Girl Scout Cookies sample was decent, though not as filled out and plump as batches I've seen friends produce. The leafy White Fire was another strain that didn't really ring my bell right away, but I'm sure I wouldn't have been disappointed bringing either home.
What won out in the end were the popcorny bits and pieces of Lemon Diesel. No big buds, just chunks of calyxes all fuzzy and sporting heaps of amber trichomes. Despite not being photogenic, the overpowering piney, lightly lemon odor of the buds came through perfectly in the flavor, and toking a bowl of this was a joy for the mind as well as the taste buds. In small amounts, these were total focus flowers, helping me put any ADD tendencies aside and making work possible while helping to maintain a steady appetite through the day. Twor or three bowls sent the noggin' skyward and made even the Olympic closing ceremony tolerable.
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A manager we spoke with after our visit said the Chronorado crew is still running the same coconut fiber medium used two years ago and the only thing that had come down over the last two years were the prices. He said member pricing keep ounces under $180 and eighths down to $25. Nonmembers pay just a little more at $190-$200 an ounce and $30 an eighth -- down from $45 an eighth in 2012.
Overall, the shop has made the improvements we hoped they would. We probably should have been shopping there more and sooner.