Best Medical-Only Dispensary 2023 | Higher Grade | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

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.
Jacqueline Collins

You can't just walk into the Marijuana Mansion and light up a joint — the eccentric space serves as a photo-shooting gallery most of the time — but the historic, potentially haunted Capitol Hill mansion also moonlights as a private cannabis-friendly event host. Rooms are decked out with curated historic decorations and local art, giving each area an individual feel, ranging from Victorian to glow-in-the-dark, while the mansion's century-and-a-half history includes everything from spirit sightings to the creation of legal pot. Before the mansion's current owners took over, the building housed the offices of several attorneys who co-wrote Amendment 64, the voter-approved initiative that legalized recreational cannabis in Colorado. If you want to experience the Marijuana Mansion with a joint in hand, keep an eye on Eventbrite listings for private parties, and follow the instructions to request an invitation if you're 21 or older.

Best Place to Run Your Weed and Liquor Errands

Green Remedy

When longtime Denver-area businessman Curtis Washington bought a building with a liquor store in southeast Denver last year, he had already envisioned a dispensary joining the party. A new licensee of Denver's marijuana social equity program, Washington and his son, Jordan Brooks, planned to turn half of the place into Green Remedy as part of a new venture together. Although they're the only two businesses in the building, the dispensary and liquor store have different addresses, allowing them to operate under the same roof independently. The rare distinction has already helped lure in customers, according to Washington, and the combo seems particularly smart when you're facing after-work errands during rush hour.

KC Christian

You can find a bag of Lay's and a bottle of Sprite at any convenience store, but It's a Bodega takes junk food to a whole new level. In fact, most of the snacks here aren't "junk," but imported rarities. From Japanese Kit Kats and Taiwanese potato chips to outlandish Fanta soda flavors and Chinese Oreos, KC Christian's exotic snack shop has munchies that will make you ooh and aah and ask "How many of those am I allowed to buy?" Shopping at It's a Bodega isn't just a fun trip for snacks, it's an experience of East Coast homages, nostalgia and edible creativity. You'll have to pay for the rarest items — Oreo Moon Pies from Thailand have gone for as much $25 each, and Christian once sold a $40 Fanta — but there are plenty of fun, tasty and holy-shit options that won't break your budget, like international Twix and a Canadian remake of Crystal Pepsi.

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