Four different people have told me that they either circled the block or walked right past Good Chemistry on Colfax numerous times before locating the rather nondescript dispensary. I did both. The pot shop is in a narrow space in an old retail building, a block east of the capitol between Highlander Comix and Hollywood Posters -- both places worth checking out while you're on this stretch of the 'Fax.
Location: 330 E. Colfax Ave Website: www.goodchem.org Phone: 720-524-4657 Owner/Manager: Matt Huron Opened: June 2010 Raw marijuana price range: $8 per gram, $25 an eighth. Other types of medicine: Hash, a few edibles. Handicap accessible? Yes.
From the outside, Good Chemistry is just a black and gray storefront with frosted windows and no real street-level signs. The only identifying thing about the place was their logo, a lower-case "g" with an apothecary pestle coming out of the top, etched in the frosted glass on the door.
Parking sucks, like it does for most places on that stretch of Colfax, but I found an open meter a few blocks away from the somewhat nondescript. Once inside, I filled out a few brief pages of mandatory paperwork while sitting in vintage movie theater seats in the entryway waiting room and was buzzed back through the security door within a few minutes.
The back of the shop features more of the same clean décor. For art, scientific beakers hang from clamps on a shiny metal stand on top of what looks like an old library card catalog cabinet behind the bud bar on the left as you walk in. At the bar, the budtender was weighing out buds for one of the several customers ahead of me in a laboratory beaker straight out of eighth-grade science class -- measurements and all.
The rest of the space is a long, skinny, echoing room with light marble floors and white walls. The bud bar is a long marble counter, with strains hung on the wall behind it in an interesting custom-shelving unit that holds tall, round jars full of ganja. Overall, the place has a really upscale feel to it -- like a swanky, chemistry-lab-themed hotel bar in Miami.
Owner Matt Huron said he got into the industry when is brother and his brother's partner contracted HIV and began using cannabis medically. Since then, both men have died and Huron says the shop is his way of continuing on in their memory. His goal, he says, is to provide access to meds for everyone in the community. One way Huron says he is making this possible was to cut his prices in half last January, selling all eighths for $25. All of the meds the shop sells are grown in-house in an organic hydro setup, he notes.
The two guys ahead of me both ended up buying some Grand Daddy Purple (GDP), so that was the first strain I had the budtender pull down for me when it was my turn. Clearly mass-grown and trimmed, the leftover fan leaves that hadn't fallen to the bottom of the jar were still stuck to the buds themselves. My budtender, a guy in his late twenties, seemed pretty tired and uninterested as I questioned him about various strains. Granted, he was helping another person at the same time and the place seems like it rotates people in and out all day long -- so to him, I was probably just another dude walking in off Colfax for a $25 eighth of weed to smoke. Another budtender who came in from the back room halfway through my transaction and started helping another customer seemed much more engaging -- so the distractedness of my budtender didn't seem to reflect the style of the shop so much as my guy just having a bad day slinging bud.
At $25 an eighth, I didn't expect much, but I wasn't completely disappointed in what I saw either. Nothing knocked my Rockies hat off, but things like the Blue Dream, 5-way and Lemon Skunk smelled and looked at least good enough for other shops to be selling them at $40 or $45. Still, other cuts were bland smelling and dull looking, like their Sour Diesel and their Afghan Kush (I think; my notes are scribbly here). Huron said the shop has about seven staple strains, including Ingrid, which Huron says is one of his originals. Someone I know stopped by after my visit, and said the shop also kept a few "top shelf" strains under the counter that you have to ask for specifically, though I didn't follow up on that. The shop also had a few different strains of hash for sale from $30-$40 and a small display with roughly a dozen edibles, but I have been concentrated-out lately. The shop is cash only, so I had to stall my purchase for a few minutes to use an ATM machine in the back. I ended up taking home three strains spread across six grams, figuring I'd test drive all of them in spliffs and the bubbler this week instead of the usual dry pipe.
5-Way: $8/gram, $25/3.5 grams Neither the budtender nor Huron could tell me exactly what the lineage on this was. It had a sweet Maui smell to it in bulk in the shop and beat out most other strains I saw the day I was in. I also kept thinking about how in French this strain would be Ménage à Cinq, which sounds hysterically dirty. In a joint, it burned smooth with a sweet taste at first before mellowing out to a nondescript burning-herb flavor. The bubbler bowls were more of the same, with a hint of sweetness followed by bland smoke. The buzz was mild, though I was pretty heavy-eyed and in a solid daze for twenty minutes or so after a joint. Not something I would go back for anytime soon, but nothing I can really hate on either.
Lemon Skunk: $8/gram, $25/3.5 grams There was a solid citrus funkiness on this herb when I broke up a chunk, like the first bite of Froot Loops. It wasn't as strong in the shop, though, and what drew me to this cut was the marble-sized orange nuggets. Like the 5-Way, it wasn't anything notably impressive-tasting when smoked. But it did have a light, Heineken-skunk to the first few hits and left a sweet, mixed ganja smell in the air. So for budget-conscious patients less concerned with flavor, this wasn't a bad cut. That said, each time after I smoked it, I would eventually pull some stinky OG out of my private reserve for flavorful desert tokes.
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Grand Daddy Purps (GDP) I know the shop grows in bulk, but someone should have taken some Fiskars to the leaves on this herb. The bud underneath the long, light purple leaves looked good and had a coating of tiny amber trichomes throughout. It had no smell, though. Broken up, it had a bland sugaryness, but otherwise nothing unique. It had a perfumed, harsh taste in a joint and was cough-inducing out of a bubbler. Still, it was potent, and just a few bowls after a workout eased soreness and put me to bed quick. A longer drying period with some more time spent curing could have done this bud wonders.