Medical marijuana dispensary review: Flavored Essentials in Denver

In the year or so since photos of what looks to be a clean, well-lit and well-stocked Flavored Essentials were posted on the dispensary's Facebook page, the shop doesn't appear to have done much upkeep. Lights were out all over the place, and the only illumination came from the few lamps hung over houseplants and the leaking orange glow coming from an otherwise blacked-out window concealing the sparsely filled grow facility. The lights in the cabinets were all dim, spots overhead were out, and even the LED-lit magnifying glasses for patients to actually view the buds weren't working. And sadly, based on their appearance, the buds on the shelf could use a few more watts in the grow room, too.

Flavored Essentials

3955 Oneida Street
 Denver, CO 80207
 (303) 377-0539 Flavored Essentials

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $10-$13/gram $25-$40/eighth-ounce, $140-$220/ounce. Members receive about 10 percent to 15 percent discount. Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, kief, hash, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

The walls in the online photos are blue, but I don't remember any of that -- just a dingy room with half-empty display cases and a wall of rolling papers and blunt wraps. It was like an old-school New York bodega that wasn't being discreet about selling pot on the side. The two dudes in their twenties running the shop were both really friendly, though. I don't want the place to sound unwelcoming, because they were doing the best they could with what they had. But like two bachelors living together post-college, they could really use a maid, or at the very least a Swiffer and some Windex.

Unfortunately, the nearly two dozen jars on the shelf showed about the same level of care put toward them as did the shop itself. With the exception of maybe two or three containers, the buds were all down to the shakey bottoms, which was depressing, considering there was still an ounce or so left of the larfy, tiny budlets in each jar. The not-so-kush-smelling Jedi Kush was crumbles, the Canalope Haze a mess of tangled red hairs, and the MILF looked like chopped salad.

The guys behind the counter knew it, too, even though they didn't go so far as to openly admit that they only had shake left. During my visit, one pulled out an enlarged photograph displaying a great example of the shop's purple TPOG strain to show me what it looked like before it crumbled down to particles and dust -- and then tried selling me on the bud by saying they always came out brittle and fall apart like that. They might, but they shouldn't. If you've got to show someone a photo of what your buds should look like, they shouldn't be on the top tier. Granted, I was given a discount when I eventually made my purchase, but it still put things at $30 an eighth when $25 would have been a stretch considering that other shops sell ounces of shake like that for $70.

Continue for the rest of the review and photos.