Still waiting. I'm still waiting.
Yes, I have the Talking Heads stuck in my head.
That's usually not a bad thing, but I keep repeating the chorus to "Crosseyed and Painless" every day around this time as the mailman drops off another stack of mail that doesn't contain my medical cannabis renewal. Shopping for medical cannabis through recreational shops is frustrating on the wallet. Also, I'm impatient and I hate waiting.
Damn it. Now I've got Jay Z stuck in my head, too.
10030 West 27th Avenue Wheat Ridge, CO 80215 303-233-3087 ChronicTherapy.co
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $50/eighth-ounce, $300/ounce. Other types of medicine: BHO, Shatter, edibles, disposable vape pens. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes. Recreational Sales? Recreational only. No medical sales.
I was actually going to make a visit to Chronic Therapy last year. May 7th, specifically. I only remember because it was the same day we reported that two thieving bastards had broken into the shop and made off with $12,500 in flowering pot plants. Figuring that the staff wasn't going to be in the best of moods (or that the shop might be closed), I put Chronic Therapy on my mental checklist to visit sometime down the line.
At some point, CT crossed over completely and became a full recreational shop, and the check mark came off. But since I'm at the mercy of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (and the U.S. Postal Service), I don't have my red (purple?) card yet. That means I'm still stuck getting medical herb at jacked-up prices and high taxes.
Chronic Therapy is a nice little shop, though. It's across the street from a park in Wheat Ridge, tucked into a double-wide-esque one-story building. I walked into the clean (and green-paint-free) waiting room and was greeted by a squatty French bulldog named Jacques, who ambled in from the adjacent bud bar. My budtender was close behind, a girl in her twenties who took my ID, looked it over for a second and handed it back before leading me to her station.
There are three display areas in the bud bar, all identically stocked, so you don't have to go back and forth around the shop to see everything. This area is nice, too. Clean and clutter-free. The top shelf featured sativa buds, and the lower shelf had indicas. The dispensary also had a small, clear tray stocked with different shatter from TC Labs, CannaLabs and wax from Venom. I didn't see the Venom up close, but the shatter was all extremely well-done (as TC Labs is known for).
Pricing was the lowest I've seen in a recreational shop: $45 to $50 a gram before taxes. A guy I talked to walking out afterward told me that he shopped around at a lot of other recreational places and Chronic Therapy had the best price-for-quality shatter he's found so far. Still high, but much lower than the $85 I saw last week at Euflora.
The edibles selection was pretty standard. Incredibles bars, Full Melt chocolates, and Growing Kitchen baked goods. All quality stuff, but (as always) I'm not really an edibles consumer. Eating pot and waiting a half-hour for the effects to kick in does nothing for curbing immediate nausea.
As for the herb: there were about a dozen strains total, half on the upper sativa shelf and the rest below on the indica shelf. I started up top with the Blue Dream, which was skunkier than usual, but still with the hints of lavender that I always associate with the strain. The Jack Frost smelled perfect, but it was down to the shakey jar bottoms. Other strains were more appealing. The Skunk Dawg buds looked like snow on pine trees, as did the dense crystal bombs of Armageddon Skunk. The grape jelly-sweet purpled buds of Purple Dream were probably the prettiest buds on display. Generally, though, buds fell in the mid-range in quality. The NYC Diesel was forgettable and the 303 Kush missed the mark on the rubbery-tart-fuel stink completely. I didn't even give the Flo a second glance.
"OG Kush" from Chronic Therapy.
The two strains with the best appearance overall were the 707 Headband and the ambiguously named OG Kush. The 707 didn't have a very strong Chemmy scent, though it definitely was prominent enough to linger in my nose for a few seconds after sniffing the jar. Broken up, the buds were sticky-tacky and the powerful Headband stink filled up the room. The foxtailed buds were densely packed and smoked with a mild (but delicious) skunky-lemon aftertaste. Everything burned clean down to a white ash and the effects were near-instant and long-lasting. I have mostly been toking to help prod my appetite over the last few weeks, and a small four-hit bowl out of a clean spoon pipe set me right through dinner and the following two hours of buzzing, content mild euphoria.
If enforcing copyrights on strain names were possible, the guy who trademarked OG Kush would be a millionaire at this point. It's everywhere, but it's not. That is to say, most "OG Kush" isn't. Whatever the one at Chronic Therapy was, it looked good and had a kushy-rubbery funk underneath that set off my mental alarms. The round, squatty, pine-tree-looking buds glowed in the light of the shop, with the silver trichomes lighting up like Christmas lights. Crushed up in my hand for a bowl, the herb was waxy and left my fingers with a coating of crystals on top. The herb burned down well, like the Headband, though the flavor wasn't as full as the smells led me to believe it would be. Potency was great, though, and while Chronic Therapy had it listed on their "sativa" shelf, the buds were a solid knockout punch for my aches and pains. I also could have used them as a sleeping aid before bedtime, and naps after toking seemed like a really good idea.
707 Headband from Chronic Therapy.
By this point, the shop was impressing me, and I liked what I was seeing. I'd stop by again when I'm in the area, I told myself. Then I remembered I wasn't a patient in a medical dispensary and saw the pricing board. $50 for an eighth, $300 for an ounce for all strains. Yeesh. I did get a discount for being a first-timer: $5 off before taxes. That helped, but the purchase still put me out about $53. Even after adjusting myself somewhat to the "recreational" customer mindset, that's hard to take. Not to single out Chronic Therapy, though. It's the same at most recreational shops. No wonder medical patients haven't made the switch-over, as the state seemed to think we would all do. We have access to the same quality herb for $10-$20 less and without the absurdly high "sin" taxes.
And that, really, is the only problem I have with Chronic Therapy: The pricing seems too high for what you're getting. But again, it's not just them -- it's most all recreational shops, which keep their pre-tax pricing at the same level that people pay in places like Florida and Oklahoma. This is Colorado, where $50 eighths were only something you'd charge college kids and tourists on a ski lift. Maybe I'm just not used to it -- and I doubt I ever will be. But if that's normal for you as a recreational pot-shop customer and you think I'm just crazy, give them a shot.
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In the meantime, I'll be waiting. Yes, I'm still waiting...