With a beater RV and a few other assorted cars parked in the corner of its chain-link-fenced yard, Mile High Wellness looks like an abandoned Winnebago parts warehouse. It probably was at one point. That or some industrial supply something-or-other. But warehouse space all over the city has been taken over by indoor pot farming operations. You know you’re in or approaching an industrial-zoned area in Denver not by the smell of diesel fumes, but by the smell of Sour Diesel fumes.
And Mile High Wellness (ironically across the street from the state emissions control), is pretty easy to sniff out.
Mile High Wellness
2291 Sout Kalamath Street
Denver, CO 80223
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Raw marijuana price range: $20-25/eighth-ounce, $125/ounce. Non-members pay about 10 percent more. Shop often has specials running.
Other types of medicine: Bubble hash, edibles
Online menu? No.
Recreational sales? Soon.
The neighborhood definitely had a distinctive skunk odor when I rolled up the other day looking for something decent to sooth my shitty stomach. I’m not young anymore. I’m not old, either, but I’m certainly not young. It occurs to me every so often, like when I feel my knees crack while hiking the stairs at Red Rocks or when I start falling asleep when I try to stay up past 11 p.m. My most recent reminder came the other morning after eating Chinese food way too spicy for my well-being.
The front door of the building isn’t actually the front door of the building. Patients enter through a back door slightly out of view from the street. Inside, the painted wood paneling and low ceilings probably haven’t changed since whatever the building housed before Mile High Wellness. It’s shabby, no question about that. Reminds me of some of the first shops I went into in Colorado. But the low-frills approach also likely helps the shop keep pricing down to $120-$125 an ounce and $20 an eighth for organic herb that's grown just a few steps out the door and to the left, in a huge warehouse grow that vents into the afternoon air.
Purple Durban from Mile High Wellness
My budtender told me off the bat that he usually just makes hash for the shop and doesn’t spend much time behind the bar. He didn’t know too much about a few of the interestingly named strains, such as the Golden x Pac, a Golden Goat cross with Pac 10, a sativa-leaning strain, or the XX OG, yet another of the dozens (hundreds?) of “OG” strains flooding the pot universe these days. Bud was kept in sealed plastic tubs on top of a glass display case containing edibles and some $15 hash grams of chunky, dark brown bubble hash. The shop didn’t have any other concentrates in stock, but my budtender said MHW was getting licensed to produce its own shatter. He added that the grams of wax and shatter normally sold for $30-$35 a gram. Bubble hash always goes for $15 a gram, he said.
Bud was decent, with a few strains on either end of the bell curve. The LA Kush, for example, looked wispy and stringy, as if it had been cut halfway through flowering, and the Maui looked crumbly and underfed. But the aforementioned Golden x Pac, the Afgooey and the Bio Diesel were intriguing enough – especially at $125 an ounce – to give them a shot.
The Golden Pac ended up sticking in my nose enough for me to bring home. It had the sweet-spicy, exotic smell of Goat mixed with a truly Pinesol-like finish. I was expecting something crazy-unique from the odor, but the Golden Goat scent came through much stronger when the buds were broken up, leaving the distinct sugary-caramel aroma in my office. The lime-green spear buds burned clean enough, leaving a gray ash behind. A fully packed dry pipe bowl was a perfect dose of the bud and the sour, painful feeling in my gut went away almost immediately. The light flavor was enjoyable as well, like Golden Goat mixed with pine sap. It wasn’t all that different overall from Golden Goat, but at $20 an eighth, it was a reasonable purchase for the week.
Same goes for the edible selection, all from a partner operation, Green Street, and made in-house — and it was cheaper than I’ve seen elsewhere lately. The shop carried everything from infused butter to cookies to honey. Also on hand was candy dubbed “shatter glass hash" that basically looks like shards of sugar candy broken up into chunks that vaguely resemble actual shatter. Pretty much everything came in 100 mg doses, most for under $10-$15.
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The Purple Durban stood out as the strongest, sweetest-smelling buds in stock. The sample had the pepper finish of the Durban, but that was overwhelmed by a grape Kool-Aid sugar blast up front, followed by a lightly earthy Flo-like mellowness. I could have kept my nose under the jar all day long, despite my normal aversion to anything “purple." The dry little shrub-buds with hints of purple weren’t much to look at, admittedly. They had the dull luster of outdoor and a machine trim that left them looking more like an afterthought from the grow room. Over-dried, they cracked and turned to shake easily. But the smell was something I couldn’t get past. It came through perfectly in the first green hit of a bowl, charcoaling out after that with a general, hashy flavor. More sedative than I thought it would be, it was a good option for post-work stress relief and a bad option for pre-work nausea control. I didn’t quite feel like taking a nap, but lounging on a hammock in the sunshine seemed like a reasonable thing to do following a bowl. It’s warehouse weed, sure. But it’s good warehouse weed. At warehouse prices. From an actual warehouse.
And generally, that’s what you’ll find there. It’s nothing special and if you’re a bud-nerd on the hunt for the most luscious, rare strains, you’ll do better off looking elsewhere. But for patients on a budget, Mile High Wellness is worth checking out.
Or at least just drive by and give it a whiff.