Medical marijuana dispensary review: Green Cross of Cherry Creek
Green Cross of Cherry Creek is in an old three-story office building; Green Cross is on the second floor, along with a nail salon that I'm sure at least a few stoners have absentmindedly walked into before getting a whiff of acrylic nail polish instead of skunk.
I say that based on the look of "Not again" on the faces of the three old Asian ladies in the nail shop as they stopped talking and simultaneously stared up at me before turning back to each other while I turned and walked out the door.
Green Cross of Cherry Creek
128 Steele St., Suite 200 Denver, CO 80206 303-321-4201 greencrosscc.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $20-$45/eighth-ounce, $130 - $200/ounce. Other types of medicine: BHO, edibles, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
Green Cross of Cherry Creek is across the hallway, a small sign on the door the only indication that you've come to the right spot. Walk through the front door and you're in the small box of a secured area, with a receptionist window to your right and a door leading back to the dispensary in front of you. The receptionist behind the glass partition took my card and ID while a barefoot hippie girl who turned out to be my budtender let me in through the locked door.
Inside, the small shop breaks off into several different rooms in what feels like an old doctor's office. Most of the shop seems to be office space for the dispensary owners. There's also a room set up for other patient services, though it's doubtful anyone has used it since the shop first opened -- back when dispensaries thought they at least had to have massage chair around so that it wouldn't seem as though they were just selling cannabis.
After waiting for the two women to finish copying my ID and red card while finishing their conversation, I was led back to the tiny bud bar, which is made up of two counters set up in an "L" shape around the room and a wall of edibles.
There were something like 65 different strains on the shelf the day I was in, no exaggeration. Herb sells for $20 to $45 an eighth in five-dollar increments -- essentially creating six price tiers, each stacked with jars. It's about three too many, in most cases, and at least five dollars too high in general.
I was able to make it through about twenty of the strains, ranging from the top tier down to the bottom, and while a few buds were enticing -- like a fruity God Bud and a lemony, buttery Trainwreck -- most seemed to fall flat. The Headband, for example, didn't have the trademark rubbery tartness it should, and instead smelled like crushed black peppercorn.
Though the buds seemed dense and ripe, the Chem OG had the same issues as the Headband, with little to no trace of the inherent delicious smells and flavors. I also went through a dull Island Sweet Skunk, mid-range Golden Goat, Hong Kong that smelled like a bag of fresh-cut grass, an outdoor-looking Mean Martian Green and passable Bruce Banner.
Denver Diesel from Green Cross of Cherry Creek.
The Denver Diesel was among the best of the bunch, though the true Diesel-ness of it didn't come out until I broke it up between my fingers. In the shop it smelled more like dirt, with a hint of citrus skunk. It burned clean but flavorless and left me with a mildly speedy buzz that lasted for a good hour or so before tapering off. Nothing awful, and I've been puffing on it for a few days to help with my appetite following (yet another) stomach flare-up -- but it certainly wasn't worth $45 plus tax for an eighth. This might compete in the $30-$35 range, but Green Cross still would have to do something better curing-wise to bring out the flavors this strain naturally has inside.
Continue for the rest of the review. The Blackberry Kush was a much denser, more full-grown specimen and had a black-coffee-and-sugar-cereal smell out of the jar. But it had its faults, too -- notably that the true strain-distinct smells really only came out after mangling the bud between my fingertips. At that point, the Blackberry Kush smelled like over-ripe blackberries and powdered fruit-punch drink mix made with too little water. Still not much of a full flavor to the strain, but it was potent and relaxing, with a mellow buzz that lasted a good hour and a half before evening out into a body buzz for the last half hour. Not bad by any means, but still: $45 for this plus tax makes it nearly a $50 eighth, and that's way too high. Closer to $40 and change would have been more like it.
Blackberry Kush from Green Cross of Cherry Creek.
For concentrates, the shop had a single huge chunk of ice-water hash the size of a racquetball ball that looked like a mix of different filter screen sizes, with a few chunks of plant matter thrown in for good measure. My budtender said it was some of the best bubble hash she's ever had. Either she was stretching things to make an up-sale or she's never had good bubble hash, but either way, I passed. The shop also had BHO in stock all made from an outside vendor. Though the yellow flaky hash didn't look awful, there were other small jars filled with what looked more like the black, viscous oil on the floor of your garage than the oil that should be in your pipes. Again, a pass.
That left me with an eighth of herb that, after tax, came to just under $49. Not to bemoan the point here, but that's at least $10 too high, even for the top-tier buds. Fix that and Green Cross of Cherry Creek would be worth a second visit. Until then, save your money: There are better, cheaper buds out there for the taking in this town.
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