Standing Akimbo
Thomas Mitchell

Recreational marijuana buyers would likely be jealous if they saw the prices that medical patients get at Standing Akimbo, but we're not sure the north Denver medical marijuana dispensary could handle any more customers. The parking situation leaves a lot to be desired and the line tends to meet the sidewalk, but since Standing Akimbo has virtually unbeatable prices on popular edibles, flower and concentrate, deal-hungry patients argue that the wait is well worth it. Considering medical marijuana isn't covered by health insurance, those cost cuts can make all the difference.

Higher Grade
Clara Geoghegan

Flash deals and coupons are great and all, but it's nice to know that there's always a bargain waiting for you at Higher Grade. The growing staff operates one of the better dispensary cultivations in Denver, and the stores — two medical-only and a recreational pot shop in Denver — like to pass the savings on to customers. Even with popular in-house flower, Higher Grade's wholesale selection from growers like Cherry, Cookies, Green Dot Labs and Veritas are priced competitively and are eligible for weekly deals, which span everything from edibles to rosin. Sign up as a Higher Grade member to order online and get an extra discount on purchases (on top of daily deals). Enjoy the rollbacks.

If we're measuring cannabis breeders based on how many of their strains reach users, then it's tough to beat Ethos Genetics. Since launching in 2017, the Littleton-based seed company has continually appeared at Colorado dispensaries and beyond, and there's no sign of that spirit letting up. Citradelic Sunset, Citral Flo, Colin OG (named after founder Colin Gordon), Lilac Diesel, Member Berry and perhaps the company's most popular creation, Mandarin Sunset, are just some of the strains birthed by Ethos Genetics. We can't wait to puff what it comes out with next.

ethosgenetics.com

The Big Tomato was helping home growers long before the dispensary boom, selling indoor gardening supplies for over two decades. Now owned by Schwazze, a Denver-based cannabis corporation, the Big Tomato still offers the same friendly service for newbies and regulars, but now has even more of a cannabis focus — and an online shopping option, to boot. For beginning green thumbs, finding a trustworthy growing store is like searching for a new mechanic; more cynical shops can take advantage of that lack of experience by suggesting unnecessary lighting equipment and nutrients. That's not the case at the Big Tomato, so don't be afraid to ask questions.

With so many dispensaries in Denver, it's only natural that we have plenty of head shops to choose from. A few minutes south of the Green Mile of dispensaries, you'll find the best of them: Positive Vibes. The smoke shop and glass gallery has become a staple on South Broadway, holding down a spot on the block just north of Hampden Avenue for almost seven years now. A top-tier glass gallery with a long list of artists and an extensive stock of affordable pipes, bongs and dab setups bring the best of both worlds together inside this store. The work of over 150 artists, local and national, is displayed at Positive Vibes, which also sells pendants and smokeable art online. The staff doesn't care what part of the cannabis journey you're on, either; expert or neophyte, it's all warm vibes here.

Tetra Private Lounge and Garden
Jacqueline Collins

Anyone trying to legally light up outside of a private residence still has a tough time in Denver, where only three businesses are currently licensed for social cannabis use. And of those three businesses, only two are open — and of those two, only one allows smoking. Despite the slim pickings, Tetra Lounge tries hard to make a comfortable space for tourists and regular visitors, offering a welcoming lounge for anyone 21 and older who wants to smoke weed outside of the house. Owner Dewayne Benjamin had previously operated Tetra as a private club and still keeps the same atmosphere, with regular yoga classes, video games and budtender appreciation nights to go with daily hangouts. Tetra can't sell you any herb; you pay a fee to enter and smoke or dab your own stuff, so there's no need to pay a bar-like markup to consume. Simply pop in the RiNo club, spark your joint, and then get back to business — or don't. That seat's not going anywhere.

A relatively new line of infused products, Betty Essentials sells everything from gummies to sex lube made with different cannabinoid mixtures. Our favorites are the Cannabits, mints and tarts with various combinations of THC, CBD, CBC CBG and CBN intended to help with relaxation or reaching certain energy levels. Flavors like matcha mint with CBC, lavender pomegranate with CBN and peppermint with CBD come with no more than 2 milligrams of THC per serving, helping increase the entourage effect of the lesser-known cannabinoids without the intoxicating effects associated with edibles.

bettyessentials.com

We've all seen the meme. Dogs will eat ten different kinds of poop, but getting them to eat any sort of medication, even one hidden in a chunk of peanut butter, is a tall task. Flora's Mercantile, an independently owned hemp company based in Lakewood, has the magic elixir that old and anxious dogs can benefit from, and all it takes is a little salmon. Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, salmon oil can help a dog's immune system, heart health, skin, coat and cognitive function. It's also a popular flavor among pets, and is a good carrier of CBD isolate, which Flora's blends into the oil for a 1-ounce bottle of tincture. Packed with 600 milligrams of CBD, it can also help treat your cat or dog's pain and anxiety, and their tastebuds won't mind it, either.

florasmercantile.com

Colorado's climate will dry, crack and chap skin faster than you can roll a blunt, and that's before you step on the slopes. So when in Rome, why not do as the Romans do, and put some weed on those lips? The Lip Bong from Mary Jane's Medicinals is the quintessential Colorado lip coverage, packing CBD, THC and beeswax as well as avocado, coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, peppermint and sweet almond oils to protect those smackers in the Rocky Mountain weather. The balm's 9 milligrams of THC won't get you high, instead serving as a skin protectant — but it could enter your bloodstream, so be wary of any drug tests in the future.

maryjanesmedicinals.com
Best Old-School Hash
Courtesy of the Greenery Hash Factory

After founding the Greenery dispensary in 2013, Joel Cameron and Brian Capsay launched the Greenery Hash Factory. The Durango operation makes rosin, live resin and other modern concentrate, but the team's old-school stuff is what's holding down the roots of nearly 300 dispensaries across Colorado. Generally testing at around 40 percent THC, the Hash Factory's Lebanese and Moroccan hashish aren't as powerful as modern concentrate, but the centuries-old solventless methods produce timeless garnishes and musky hash hits. The Lebanese variety is blonde, crumbly and floral, and sits perfectly on top of a bowl or bong snapper, while the Moroccan-inspired version, cooked over an open flame and hand-pressed, has a gooey consistency that evokes memories of knife hits or trying to stick a pin under a glass. For American hash heads of decades past, the Hash Factory also whips up kief, pressed kief and bubble hash. Finding an extra kick in potency and flavor without getting lost in space is a difficult line to walk, but all of the Hash Factory's options will help you toe it.

durangogreenery.com/hash-factory

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