From the outside, you might think that New Age Medical looks like yet another stereotypical green-and-white discount marijuana shack pumping out crappy, cheap warehouse bud. And you'd almost be correct -- except for the exceptionally well-grown cannabis.
2553 Sheridan Boulevard Edgewater, CO 80214 303-233-1322 www.newagemedical.org (site is down at this writing)
Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Raw marijuana price range: $25 to $30 per eighth for all patients, $160 to $200 per ounce. Other types of medicine: Edibles, hash, caviar. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
The shop is nothing fancy. It is clean, but the herb is clearly the focus here. Decor is secondary. The initial waiting room is an afterthought, with bulletins from August still pinned up on the corkboard to the right of the reception window and a few chairs thrown together in one corner.
After I sat around for a few minutes, the receptionist finally came around and let me through the security door, took my paperwork and sent me to a more comfortable waiting area in the bud bar to fill out my paperwork while he copied my ID.
The bud bar is down a small flight of stairs in what could have been the converted former garage hangout of the converted former house that New Age Medical calls home. That was appropriate, considering that the place totally looked (and smelled) like my tapestry-strewn hangout room in college. Graff-style murals of bamboo were put up behind the bud bar, and opposite that wall is a massive mural with the Denver skyline, Bob Marley, fan leaves and other cannabis-related images. It's nothing super-upscale or fancy, but it clearly gets the job done for them.
I took a seat on one of the leather couches just to the right of the stairs facing the glass cabinets featuring jars of herb and filled out the required paperwork while a woman in front of me made her selections. The wait wasn't too bad; the woman appeared to be a regular the staff knew. She was out by the time I finished filling out the few pages of paperwork.
When my turn came, my budtender (who turned out to be one of the owners) called me over, and I finally understood why so many people had been telling me to check this place out: Nearly all of the strains were enticing. And better, the shop still manages to stay in the discount level, with caps on everything at $30 an eighth and $200 an ounce. I was given the full run-through of the nearly two dozen jars of in-house greenery in all shapes, sizes, flavors and medical effects.
The owner told me that New Age grows everything in Sunshine mix and uses about a dozen different additives in the grow process. Whatever the crew is using, it's cranking out some pretty and stinky buds. Some of the more memorable were a stinky and ripe OG Kush, sweet and sour Vin Diesel, a chunky and well-developed Pineapple Express, and a bloated and crystal-coated Arjan's Haze. A few, like the Golden Goat and Bubba, had a little bit of a fertilizer kick to the end of their odors and could maybe have used a few more days flushing. But overall, it was the fullest selection of in-house I've seen in months.
Among the highlights was a cut of Mandarin Sunset that boasted some of the most orange-smelling marijuana flowers I have ever had in front of me. The only reason I didn't bring any home is because I was warned it was a complete knock-down, comatose-causing indica. But equally as pungent was the dense, chunky Super Lemon Haze that almost burned my nose at first smell with the acrid lemon and musky haze. The buds were fully developed, and cracking one left a dusting of trichomes on my desk and my fingers sticky with resins. The lasting flavor was nearly identical to the smell when burned, and the buds baked down to a white ash in a dry pipe. The SLH was uplifting not only mentally, but for appetite as well. A top-shelf strain for New Age at $30 an eighth, it was extra delicious. Well grown and well priced, for sure.
And even the low-priced, bottom-shelf buds were worth a closer look -- like the Super Sour Diesel, whose intriguing, sweet-black-licorice thing practically demanded that I take it home. What I got was somewhat leafy and felt like a dried-out kitchen sponge, but the calyxes and tiny leaves left behind were coated in fat, round trichome crystals. Breaking up the buds released a wave of tennis-ball funk that came through with a mentholated blast of flavor when burned. That said, I had to be careful when packing bowls, because there were a few errant, immature seeds hiding in the folds of the flower. Still, at $20 an eighth and $165 an ounce, I can't complain.
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When I was in, the shop didn't have a great collection of hash and other concentrates. The only thing on display was a squatty jar with icewater-extracted hash that looked like it had been spooned out of whatever bags it was made in and left to dry into crumbly chunks. It burned slow and clean, with a general incense-like richness to the smoke. Nothing mind-blowing, but classic water hash for $10-$15 a gram isn't bad. A manager I spoke with after my visit said that the center normally does strain-specific bubble hash and sells grams of BHO capped at $25 a gram.
The owner told me the dispensary has been open well over three years. However, he took it over with his father about a year and a half ago, and they have tried hard to turn it around and produce solid herb. Reviews from the past few years online of the shop haven't always been great, but judging by what I saw on the shelves, I think they are progressing nicely.