Medical marijuana dispensary review: Standing Akimbo Bakery in Denver

Standing Akimbo's products aren't new to me at all. We've featured SA's potent, award-winning edibles in numerous articles over the years. But we've never actually made it over to the oddball little building the shop calls home, a place just on the edge of Jason Street, overhanging the dip in 38th under the train bridge.

Fittingly, the place is as funky as the location inside, both in terms of décor and quality of the chronic.

Standing Akimbo Bakery (and dispensary)

3801 Jason Street Denver, Colorado 80211 303-997-4526

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays. Raw marijuana price range (members): $10/gram $30/eighth-ounce, $165/ounce. Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $12.50/gram $35/eighth-ounce, $180/ounce. Other types of medicine: Edibles, lots and lots of edibles. Also balm, BHO wax, shatter oil. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

Medical marijuana dispensary review: Standing Akimbo Bakery in Denver

Be prepared, though. This isn't a Cherry Creek clinic-style clinic. Standing Akimbo might not seem like a hippie haven from the outside (or maybe it does to you, we don't know), but it is. Walking in is like walking into one of the Bianchi Brother's establishments like Sanchos or Quixotes, complete with Phish blasting over the improvised stereo components on top of the bud bar. But thankfully, the place didn't smell like the storied Denver hippie bars and venues (aside from a shared delightfully skunky aroma). With a kitchen opening up to the bar area of the space, the entire place has a vague scent of cooked marijuana, chocolate and flour.

An employee in her twenties greeted me at the locked front door with her puppy, which had a perfectly heady and foreign-sounding name I couldn't get right even after hearing it three times. The place itself has to have been a watering hole at one point in time, and our guess is that time was long ago. The dark stain on the heavy wooden bud bar and shelves behind look like they've had years of beer breath, dust and cigarette smoke (before 2007) cover them, along with a few layers of stain and pain. Same goes for the dark brown, wood paneled walls behind the barstools leading over into the dark, green hippie lounge, featuring not one, not two, but three Jerry Garcias smiling at patients in the waiting room.

I didn't make it past the bud bar, though. After taking down my information, I sat silently staring at the jars of cannabis just beyond reach. Of course, one of the main attractions of the shop are the edibles, and every single item of the Standing Akimbo line is on display and selling for about $3-$5 cheaper than you'd find the products elsewhere -- which is a good deal considering how freaking potent we've found them to be in the past. I couldn't help eyeing the Pecanna Bar, which took home the 2011 High Times Cannabis Cup for best edible, but held off until I could finally get a look at the cannabis the shop uses.

Continue for the rest of the review and more photos.  

Pineapple Grenades from Standing Akimbo.
Pineapple Grenades from Standing Akimbo.

After popping lids on a dozen or so stock jars, it's easy to understand why everything is so brain-warpingly, day-wreckingly, pain-endingly potent: well-grown cannabis.

We started at the top and worked our way to the bottom, so in no particular order, I zoomed through spicy, ripe sativa staples like Sour Diesel and Island Sweet Skunk before diving into heavy, dark indicas like a stinky Grape Ape and a ripe Black Bubba. In particular, I was drawn to the fuzzy, orange Golden Goat and the spot-on lavendar/baby powder funktastic Flo. Everything goes for $35 an eighth and $180 an ounce for nonmembers, $30 eighths and $165 ounces for members. All worthwhile from what we could tell.

Admittedly, the Tangerine wasn't the most plump among the plants on display and its spear-like wispiness has a fragile, spindly look. But the pungency of the smell out of the jar and the tiny silver-to-amber trichomes embedded under a cover or hairy orange pistils was too much to pass up. I smoked a bowl immediately after getting home to help iron out a stomach knot and found myself hungry as a hostage before I realized my cramp was even gone. At $35 an eighth, this was a good find and a welcome change from the Sour D I seem to keep sticking myself with over the last few weeks.

Tangerine from Standing Akimbo.
Tangerine from Standing Akimbo.

Pineapple Grenades was aptly named. A blend of Island Sweet Skunk and OG Kush, these tiny bombs delivered a blast of pine-fresh earthy soil odor when broken up and left my fingers waxy and sticky. A hybrid with very hybrid-like characteristics, the chunky buds and fat calyxes produced a mellow, even-keeled buzz that struck a good balance between providing mild pain relief and an increased mental outlook on life and whatever happened to be playing on the stereo. There was a full flavor through the three hits or so, with a light, mouthwatering piney aftertaste. You kush fans would be well-advised to get over and check out what Standing Akimbo has done with this one.

Concentrate selection at Standing Akimbo from two weeks ago.
Concentrate selection at Standing Akimbo from two weeks ago.

Concentrates selection was between some waxy-looking, orangey-yellow budder divvied up into $25-$30 grams in a case or honey-colored shatter oil with a few random particulates and varying degrees of clarity selling for $50 a gram (thankfully it was split into half-grams). What the shop didn't have (and what would be great) was icewater hash done correctly. Given the smells and flavors of some strains, it seems a shame to only go with solvent extractions that frequently don't even come close to the same levels of aroma and taste preservation.

I opted for the shatter oil despite the price, as the wax looked mid-grade at best: slightly goopy in some batches, oily in others. The unnamed shatter strain appears gooey in the photos, but it had a hard amber consistency that cracked like it should at room temperature. Under a scope, the shatter seemed partly cloudy with what I assume is leftover waxes (I'm no scientist here) and a few pieces of plant material.

Shatter oil from Standing Akimbo.
Shatter oil from Standing Akimbo.

That aside, it burned clean on a quartz nail and vaporized easily in a cotton ball through a Silver Surfer vape. As you would hope with high-grade cannabis oil, it was potent. But $50 clean and potent it was not. Of course, it's a new thing for the shop, so hopefully staffers will get their tech down better to match pace with the pricing. In the meantime, watch for "wax Wednesdays" sales or the like to try it on the cheap.

Predictably, I couldn't go into Standing Akimbo without bringing home an edible. And after staring longingly at the Pecanna Bar in between jars of herb I decided to bring it home for a rare treat to make my fantasy football draft go by quicker. I told myself to only eat a quarter of it to start, but I couldn't resist the near-perfect pecan pie and gulped a half before I could realized it. And with the potency, an extra bite can be a treacherously delicious decision, as I found out near the tenth round of selections, when all I wanted to do was pick a movie to zone out on instead of a third-round running back from Oakland.

In all, I walked out with about four grams of herb, a half-gram of shatter and a pecan-flavored tranquilzer-dart of an edible for just over $60. The hippie confines might be too wavy-gravy for some, but if edibles are your deal and you still want to pick up some quality bud on the side, this would be a shop to consider joining as a member.

Medical marijuana dispensary review: Standing Akimbo Bakery in Denver

Read more reviews from Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic, William Breathes, in our Mile Highs and Lows blog, and keep up with all your Colorado marijuana news over at The Latest Word.

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