DANK advertises its location as being discreet, which is an understatement when you're trying to find the shop in a maze-like warehouse district full of similar-looking structures. There are no big weed leaves or green crosses hanging on the front of the building that the dispensary shares with several other non-marijuana businesses, and I didn't even see DANK's name or logo on the sign out front -- only the address.
3835 Elm Street, Suite B Denver CO 80207 303-394-3265
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Online Menu? Yes. Other types of medicine: Hash, tinctures, edibles. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
The shop is on the first floor, about halfway down the hallway; there are a few small signs with the shop's name, and the rules for entry are posted on the door. It took about a minute for someone to answer my buzz, and though I could hear music playing, I nearly walked off, thinking that the staff was out on a break or maybe the place was closed for the day. As I was turning to leave, the door cracked open and my budtender apologized for the delay. After checking out my red card and ID, he opened the door and let me in, telling me to grab a seat and to get something out of the fridge while I waited on the two people ahead of me.
DANK is basically a 400 square-foot green box with a matching leather couch and chairs set up in one corner as a lounge, and a cutout window in the opposite wall that opens into the employee-only bud room. Small, hinge-top sample jars with a few buds each are kept out on display on the counter. To the left of the bud counter is a small glass case filled with inexpensive pipes, papers and assorted marijuana ephemera.
In a lot of ways, DANK feels more like the old-school dispensaries of 2009, well before people were dumping huge amounts of money into decor and back when the only thing you needed to open a dispensary was some herb, a waiting room stocked with weed magazines and at least one wall painted lime green.
I wasn't expecting such an out-of-the-way and hidden shop to be so busy, but I ended up waiting forever on the two patients ahead of me while they not only went through the strains, but also carried on extended conversations with the budtenders about life in general. After a half-hour of going through back editions of High Times and browsing the meager glass-pipe selection, it was finally my turn at the bud bar.
I was frustrated until I realized that the selection was probably going to take me a while to get through as well. About fifteen strains were on display at the counter, all broken down into two price tiers. The majority of the strains were running at $40 an eighth and $250 an ounce, while the lower shelf sold for $30 an eighth and as low as $175 an ounce. Both price tiers do not include tax, so figure in a few dollars here and there at the end.
Though some strains were more appealing than others, most everything I took the time to peep and sniff were -- for a lack of better term -- dank. Kush- and Chemdawg-based clone-only strains are the main focus of the shop, and DANK had out some impressive samples of Larry OG, Platinum OG, Sour Kush and Bubba Kush.
The lower-shelf strains like the Grape Stomper, ripe and funky UK Cheese and Power Kush weren't as impressive-smelling as those on the top shelf, but for the most part they were still well-developed buds worth taking home. According to my budtender, DANK's grow is mostly organic soil, though it does run some of its strains in a soilless hydro system to maintain a steady large harvest.
Edibles were clearly not on the priority list, with just a few offerings from Mountain High suckers, Cheeba Chews and Flower of Life. But something tells me DANK's clientele doesn't care about the lack of variety.
Where the shop is hurting, though, is in the hash department. Despite all of the great strains it has, the only hash on the shelf was two types of blended bubble hash lightly pressed into chunks. That's not to say it wasn't appealing, but DANK could be offering some great strain-specific hash along with the lineup of flowers on the shelves.
After spending a good fifteen minutes going through the strains, I realized I had become that guy, forcing someone else to wait -- so I made my selections with the budtender's help and walked out, after paying just over $40 for a split eighth and a gram of hash.
Platinum OG- $40/eighth I'm not sure there was any more room for trichomes on these chunky, pinecone-shaped buds. Crystals were basically fighting it out with crystals for space, and it had a delicious, fresh-turned-earth richness to it out of the jar that grew stronger the more the bud was broken up. Surprisingly, it didn't taste very strong at first, but a tart, lemony aftertaste surfaced a few minutes after I finished the bowl. As the trichome development hinted, the bud was super-stoney and potent. I made the two grams I purchased last for several days longer than it should have just by taking small one-hitter snaps as needed. Including the tax in the $40 price tag is my only suggestion for this otherwise enjoyable flower.
Sour Kush- $40/eighth At my budtender's suggestion, this big chunk of greenery came home with me. It had a very wild appearance, with foxtailed calyxes sticking from the central branch. There was a good amount of sugar leaves left behind, though nothing I didn't put in my pipe and smoke along with the buds. The herb lost its odor after a few days in the not-so-airtight container I brought home with me -- but grinding it up brought the citrus and rubbery tang out. It burned with a full, delicious flavor, and it was easy to see why my budtender was so stoked on this cut. Almost immediately, I was hit with an uplifting, cerebral buzz with a kick like a cup of coffee. I had the same small gripe about the price as I did with the Platinum OG, but otherwise this was great for mid-day toking to get the appetite up and running or to just relax and enjoy my own private head space for an hour or so.
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"420 Hash"- $10/gram Though the shop had some appealing $15 top-shelf hash, I went with the tan, lightly pressed chunks of blended lower-shelf concentrate. Out of the jar in the shop it had a rich, pine-forest smell blended in with the earthy hash. For $10, though, this was a very smokeable blend that bubbled and sizzled on top of a bowl and smoked down cleanly when sprinkled on a red-hot titanium nail. Like I said: strain-specific hash would be ideal from DANK, but this isn't a bad alternative in the meantime.
William Breathes is the pot pen name for Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews at Mile Highs and Lows and catch up with all your cannabis news over at The Latest Word.