Hey Stoner: Why does organically grown MJ cost the same as the chemy stuff? Why do buds that take longer (like 112 days) to grow, cost the same as a strain that only takes 50 days? Why does a strain that produces a small harvest cost the same as a big common-yielder costs? Does everyone just grow for weight?
Dear Heady: I've actually found that the places growing quality organic herb are usually about 10 percent more expensive than shops that are pumping out the fertilizer-laden hydro systems. But I've also seen the price on organic-grow mediums and nutrients come down over the last few years — and these shops buy and grow in bulk, which keeps their pricing down. A lot has to do with competition. There are hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries out there vying for your business, and they have to keep their prices down to compete with one another (as well as the non-taxed herb being sold through caregivers). That also goes for the long-flowering strains versus the short-flowering strains. Yes, shops could sell their 112-day sativas for more money than their eight-week-flowering strains (and there are a few shops that still do this), but the slightly increased cost of the longer-flowering buds comes out in the wash when they are selling other strains at the same price that were cheaper to produce. It's one benefit of growing in bulk — which answers your final question: Yes, almost every dispensary is growing the majority of their crops for weight. A few dedicate smaller grows to "top shelf" buds, but for the most part, they're trying to maximize everything they can to keep their profit margins high. But the same goes for any other commercial industry. That said, my caregiver never charged me more for Super Silver Haze than he did an eight-week kush — and if a private grower can manage to do that, I see no reason why dispensaries shouldn't be able to, also.
Dear Stoner: What is your favorite medical dispensary in Denver?
Dear Cole: I don't want to name a single place — partly because I shop at different spots for different needs. But I do shop at a few dispensaries I've reviewed in the past when I want some variety or don't have time to meet up with my caregiver, including Kindman, Trenchtown, Elevate, the Clinic, LoDo Wellness, Trill Alternatives (in Boulder), Natural Remedies, the Health Center, Denver Relief and Denver Kush Club. And I'm always hoping to add a new one to that list. You can read all of our medical marijuana dispensary reviews at blogs.westword.com/latestword/mile_highs_and_lows.