Most operations supplying marijuana stores are labeled "grows," but the cultivation creating product for Cannajuana, a new dispensary in south Denver, is much more of a garden.
Right next to Cannajuana's marijuana plants are clove and nettle plants, which share the growing plots with cannabis in order to create live soil, according to dispensary general manager Nate Shelton, who had to end our interview by preparing his fridge to accommodate a fresh order of pest-killing bugs.
"We've got more biodiversity going on inside of our building than most outdoor grows," Shelton says. "We're still stabilizing the building now. We're not just keeping weed plants healthy; we're really keeping these soil plots healthy, too."
Located at 1155 South Cherokee Street, Cannajuana was founded earlier this summer by Matthew Sanders, a longtime member of Colorado's cannabis industry and extraction space. The store had a soft opening in May; a grand opening will be held within the next two months, after the dispensary garden's first major harvest is ready.
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"We're still renovating, and we haven't fully released our flower, so I can't say we've had our grand opening just yet," Shelton explains.
Comparing Cannajuana's strain lineup to that of a pastry shop, Shelton tells customers to expect a potent roster of Papaya Cake, Miracle Alien Cookies and plenty of other marijuana varieties with names ending in "Cookies," "Cake" and "Pie." Cannajuana also has an infused-product manufacturing license, he notes, and the dispensary will begin selling Cannajuana concentrates once the dispensary's cultivation is humming along.
Although the dispensary is only open for registered medical marijuana patients right now, the owners are currently trying to activate the location's recreational sales license, and hope to be open for everyone by the end of the year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the store has shortened hours — 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. — but will expand that in the future, Shelton says.
This spot on South Cherokee Street formerly housed the last outpost of MMJ America, one of Colorado's early recreational dispensary chains that once operated a handful of pot shops in the Denver area. But it closed its locations in the Golden Triangle and Boulder, then sold its downtown store to the LOVA dispensary chain in 2019. (The brand transition at that location is ongoing.)