Best Dispensary for a New Cannabis User 2023 | Reefer Madness | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

If you're new to cannabis and dispensary shopping, then Reefer Madness is a safe choice. Not only will you find one of the most extensive menus in Denver, with well over 200 recreational and medical strains and dozens of edibles and hash options, but you'll also be able to stick it to decades of prohibitionist propaganda by shopping at a store named after an infamous (and hilariously bad) anti-marijuana movie from 1936. The only madness you'll suffer here is from the ridiculous amount of options, but not to worry: Reefer Madness won't rush you, and the budtenders are patient with questions.

Best In-House Creations at a Dispensary


Medical marijuana patients have been getting screwed by lawmakers and lobbyists for almost a decade now, but at least they still have Allgreens. The medical-only dispensary in south Denver sells $6 grams of shatter, as well as rosin capable of standing up to the other hash lords of Colorado, but at a much lower price. Even Allgreens' private reserve costs less than $30 per gram, and the in-house full-melt live heads and 4-gram buckets of rosin are the most affordably priced fire in town. You might find something cheaper or a brand with more hype, but nothing beats the value of Allgreens extractions.

Spending time in a waiting room like you're in a doctor's office just to shop for cannabis with names like Jigglers or Super Boof is starting to feel like unnecessary posturing. Props to Lightshade for making us comfortable while we have to do it. You can always count on climate control and comfortable chairs at a Lightshade store, which isn't as common as you'd expect at dispensaries, and water, magazines and an updated dispensary menu are usually within reach, too. Most dispensaries don't put much effort into the waiting area, and that affects patience on crowded days. Lightshade's chill station makes us slow down and appreciate the small stuff. After all, buying weed used to be a lot harder than this.

Dispensaries that serve only medical marijuana patients are disappearing faster than a pinner, with just a handful left in Denver as recreational businesses take over Colorado. Patients across town can still rely on Higher Grade, though, thanks to the company's medical-only dispensaries in Cherry Hills and Highland. Higher Grade's in-house flower is some of the very best in Denver. In fact, we've yet to smoke better versions of Raspberry Beret, Grape OZ and Peach Crescendo in town, but the prices are much more affordable than those of popular third-party growers. Weekly deals span everything from edibles to rosin at Higher Grade, and medical members get even more perks. Let the recreational rush hour take place at Higher Grade's rec shop in the Civic Center neighborhood, and support the medical locations still fighting the good fight.


Did anyone else wake up one morning and realize that most of Denver's good cannabis isn't attached to a dispensary anymore? That's a stark difference from a few years ago, when branded growers weren't really a thing and top-shelf flower was still grown internally. KrystaLeaves is one of the few dispensaries keeping that pulse of in-house flower alive, pumping out some of Denver's most intriguing and terp-heavy cannabis. Multiple phenotypes of the same strain are common at KrystaLeaves, as are in-house creations with big followings, like the Con Leche and Grape TK. Founded by the Fernandez family and largely overseen by son Alex, this Commerce City cultivation is worth the drive, especially if you have a sharp nose.

Best Customer Service at a Dispensary



Alto is one of the smaller dispensaries in Denver. The sister dispensary of Egozi rosin has to split space with a cultivation and hash lab, so only one party at a time can enter the bud room — but that's what makes the service so good. There aren't any distractions for shoppers or the budtenders, who are as helpful and lovely as they come. A small-knit crew led by local mixed martial artist Elias Egozi and manager Juliana Mohr, Alto makes sure its employees are educated on the ins and outs of good flower and hash, which are stocked in abundance. You might even run into an MMA pro, if you're lucky.

Oasis Cannabis Facebook

Last time we visited, Oasis Cannabis Superstore had 35 strains on the shelf...from the first three growers listed on the menu alone. In all, there were over 175 strains to choose from on a random Tuesday, not counting the pre-rolls, and the edibles section had even more options. Mass selection is the norm at both locations, so if you're ever in search of a product, chances are Oasis has it. Cannabis products of all price tiers can be found here, and Oasis doesn't skip the smaller stuff, either, with tinctures, topicals and a smoking accessory inventory that can rival a head shop all packed into these skunktastic superstores. Your brain might overload from the abundance of options, but once you settle in, it will be hard to shop elsewhere.

Even when stores have deals going on, all of the top brands are usually off limits. Not at Spark, where hash heads and flower connoisseurs can find deals and low prices on the likes of 710 Labs, Bloom, Bubba's Kush, Dablogic, Indico and Mountain Select. We've walked out of Spark with grams of 710 rosin that cost less than $30 and have stocked up on Soiku Bano as if it were a Costco run — and it's actually financially conceivable to buy ounces of quality herb here. Whether it's a daily deal or you just visited on the right day, chances are a highly rated brand is discounted, and the starting prices are affordable to begin with.

Scott Lentz

Dispensaries and growers have to chase trends to stay competitive, but we never thought that finding pot pillars like Golden Goat and OG Kush could become so hard in Denver. As the vast majority of stores chase new singles, though, Silver Stem Fine Cannabis continues playing the hits. New creations are on the menu at Silver Stem, too, but you'll always see classic strains that helped build cannabis culture into what it is today — Blue Dream, Chocolope, Golden Goat, Lemon Skunk, OG Kush, Orange Krush and Sour Kush being just a handful of them. Whether it's nostalgia or chasing that one unforgettable high, Silver Stem can help you bring home gold.

Once your body nears around thirty years old, the knots, strains and sore spots pop up without warning, typically at the start of the day. Keep Escape Artists Relief Cream in the medicine cabinet, though, and you'll have a layer of defense against the aches and pains of exercise, awkward coordination and old age. Made with 800 milligrams of CBD, 800 milligrams of THC, a pharmaceutical-grade pain cream, and black pepper and cedar extract, this cream has helped us with sore necks, strained quads and arthritis flare-ups. And since THC lotions don't reach your blood, it can be applied as often as needed without fear of a failed drug test.

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