Lindsey Bartlett

With hundreds of cultivations to choose from in the Denver area, it's safe to say that there are at least a couple of commercial grows out there doing it the right way. The team behind past Best of Denver winners L'Eagle hasn't just been growing the right way; it's been advocating for others to do the same. L'Eagle's sustainable growing methods and organically motivated practices earned a Clean Green Certified seal from the City of Denver, and owners Amy and John Andrle have spoken out against unsafe pesticide use and cutting corners in grows. Every pot shop says it has the dankest Sour Diesel and Strawberry Cough, but L'Eagle is one of the few that can truly say that without selling its customers steroided buds showered in mildew killer. Nowadays, that means a lot.

Readers' Choice: Good Chemistry

Scott Lentz

You'll find dispensaries around Denver with longer menus, but the Herbal Cure's unique mix of exotic strains and timeless classics can satisfy your wildest terpene desires and recommended medical needs. Winners of multiple awards from the Grow Off for its strength in the grow room, the Herbal Cure has proven itself against the other heavyweights in Colorado, and it switches up the menu enough to keep surprising regular customers. The Cure's stiff, flavorful cuts of Cactus Breath, Do-Si-Dos and Lemon Sorbet stand alone in the Mile High City, with prices friendlier to your budget than most top-tier pot shops.

Readers' Choice: The Health Center

Courtesy House of Dankness Colorado Facebook page

Deals are abundant in a city with hundreds of pot shops, but how much is a $5 pre-roll really worth if it tastes like crap? House of Dankness isn't heavy on coupons, but its texting alerts and random deals posted on social media and Leafly tip customers off about $15 eighths, half-off concentrates, $100 ounces and more. It's not the only shop with deals like that, but once you realize that House of Dankness and its breeding company, Rare Dankness, are responsible for some of the best indica genetics on the West Coast (and you see how much other dispensaries charge for its wholesale bud), you'll be white-knuckling out I-70 to get there.

Readers' Choice: The Green Solution

Courtesy Mary's Medicinals Facebook page

The benefit of topicals can vary from person to person, but cannabis-infused lotions, balms and salves have proven to be a potential alternative to pills for chronic and extreme pain. Mary's Medicinals is one of Colorado's OGs in both topicals and infused products, along with transdermal patches, capsules and concentrates aimed at treating pain. The brand is available in most Colorado dispensaries, incorporating trends likes CBD, distillate and CBN into its products long before consumers demanded them. All of that innovation should equal one proud Mary.

Readers' Choice: Evolve Formulas

Binske's line of edibles aren't new or groundbreaking — the company currently sells infused chocolate, honey, olive oil and fruit leathers — but its commitment to flavor and style has certainly won us over. Binske brought in graphic artist Martin O'Neill to create mesmerizing labels that play off hundreds of etchings and watercolor reproductions of natural-history archives, and its variety of Chilean honeys and Greek olive oils allow you to put that creative inspiration to work in the kitchen. As for the pre-made treats, Binske's chocolates, made with Honduran and Peruvian cacao paired with hazelnuts from Oregon, are a luxurious dessert, while its tart Granny Smith fruit leathers will take you back to fifth grade and have you giggling like a child.

Readers' Choice: Wana Brands

Courtesy Harmony Extracts Facebook page

Harmony Extracts deserves the love of the people because its products are made for the people. You'll find shatter, budder, sugar wax and distillate from Harmony at affordable prices in dispensaries throughout Denver. Harmony was also one of the first extractors to debut THCA crystalline mixed with terpene sauce (dubbed Live Nectar), the most potent and flavorful concentrate yet, to the recreational market. You might be tempted to call the company Heisenberg Extracts after seeing the crystal-like substance, but one taste of Live Nectar will show you why it costs upwards of $70 per gram.

Readers' Choice: Olio

Northern Lights Cannabis is known for offering a fine menu of flower and edibles, but its concentrates list is the real star of the show. The Denver location can have upwards of sixty options on the menu, with Pax ERA pods, a variety of pre-filled vape cartridges, shatters, waxes and everything in between available for all wallets. The Edgewater location is a little more refined, carrying some of the most desirable concentrates from Colorado's best extractors, like Double Black Extracts, EndoCanna, Green Dot Labs and the Lab. Northern Lights hasn't completely abandoned the old-school, though: You can still find grams of kief here, too.

Readers' Choice: Lightshade

We know the Onyx member and Deebo's jailbreaking sidekick spells his name "Sticky Fingaz," but you can't help but make the connection to the rapper when driving by the north Denver pot shop. While the dispensary isn't inviting you to steal anything, anyone who's trimmed more than an ounce of flower can certainly appreciate the reference to resin-covered hands. Just remember: Don't rub your eyes.

Readers' Choice: Starbuds

Dispensaries that only serve the medical crowd are getting harder to find in Denver these days, but there are still a few dozen that refuse to make the switch — and we respect that. Lotus Medical has held prime real estate at 14th and Wazee streets since 2010, and it has stayed loyal to its patients, serving up stanky, plump cuts of house strains like Bubba Gum Kush and Snow Monster while dishing out fan favorites such as Sour Diesel and Tahoe OG.

Readers' Choice: PotCo

Scott Lentz

Verde Natural founder Chuck Blackton isn't a Colorado native — he has cannabis-breeding roots in Las Vegas and the Netherlands — but his pot shops fit right in on East Colfax and in Boulder. Verde's award-winning cultivation staff can take one man's limp, dull Super Lemon Haze genetics and turn it into a chunky, dense heavyweight fit for a king. The brand has provided its buds wholesale to dozens of dispensaries around the state, but to get the best deals and whiffs of Black Mamba, Bubblegum Jack and Hazelnut Cream, you have to go to the source. Refusing to subscribe to the indica-sativa rhetoric, Verde is more interested in the specific flavors and effects consumers are looking for, making the educated user feel right at home.

Readers' Choice: Lightshade

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