Green Door Wellness Center opens the door to medical marijuana in Dacono

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This dispensary has closed.

In "Mile Highs and Lows," Westword offers no-holds-barred looks at what goes on behind the locked doors of marijuana dispensaries, whether they resemble swanky bars, sterile dentists offices or a dope dealer's college dorm room.

This week, the Wildflower Seed reviews Green Door Wellness Center:

Green Door Wellness Center 500 8th St., Unit D, Dacono 303-833-0400

Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Manager: "Ashley" Manager's statement: "I moved here from Mississippi. I was up here looking for a job. I honest-to-God didn't even know marijuana was legal here in Colorado. I just fell into it, because I had managerial experience." Opened: October 2009 Raw marijuana price range: $20 per gram, $50 eighths ($45 VIP specials) -- but prices are about to drop, Ashley says. Other types of medicine: Hash, edibles, tinctures, honey oil, balms and lip balm. Patient services and amenities: Massage, aromatherapy and drug-addiction counseling, all offered at the Green Door's main location in Northglenn (303-955-5958).

Our take: I found myself at this nondescript little dispensary, on Highway 52 east of I-25 (known to many people as "the middle of nowhere"), after getting myself completely bass-ackwards lost while trying out my new GPS system. I'd just dropped off some family at DIA, somehow found myself wandering around the farmland northeast of Denver, and did what any Coloradan would do: turned my car toward the mountains and hoped I'd soon run into something familiar. Unexpectedly, I did: a big, green pot leaf letting me know that even way out in the country, in the dusty town of Dacono, medical marijuana is part of the community fabric.

The dispensary was hidden away in a basement, but the lime-green door was an instant giveaway to any in-the-know patient. Inside was a very nice little head shop, with some beautiful and unique pieces of art for sale -- not that I was interested in any of that. I was after directions back to I-25, and maybe a bit of herb to make the long trip worthwhile. The two young men and two young women behind the counter had a friendly, I-can't-believe-we're-selling-this-in-a-store attitude, but were easily distracted and weren't exactly tripping over themselves to serve customers.

When I asked for some suggestions, I was directed to the Calizahr, an 80 percent sativa-heavy hybrid with a bitter orange scent and a lime-green resinous flower. I also picked out some Sweet Kush that I imagine was Island Sweet Skunk crossed with Hindu Kush; the manager didn't know, but said it was a strict, 100 percent indica strain. Since I was a new patient, the dispensary also offered me a free gram; after getting a big up from the bud-tender, I chose the S.A.G.E. (true Sativa Afghani Genetic Equilibrium, a 100 percent sativa strain, has been a sweet favorite in the past). Then I quickly wrapped up my transaction, got back in my car -- and finally remembered that the GPS system has a "Go Home" function (nice!). So I was soon home and checking out my wares.

When it burned, the Calizahr kept its sweet orange taste and produced a bright, mentally alert high. It was my favorite Green Door score. The Sweet Kush had a pungent, gas-style aroma, revealing perhaps a whiff of chemicals underneath. Still, it burned nice and clean (I was probably just being paranoid) and quickly inserted itself into my brain, producing a thick, foggy high. But everything came grinding to a halt when I tried the free gram of S.A.G.E. It was mostly shake, with some small, airy, extremely bright-green nugs here and there. It appeared to be less than fully mature and at least a day or two shy of being properly cured. When I stuck my nose in the baggie and inhaled, I was immediately reminded of my college boyfriend's dorm room: marijuana and Miracle-Gro. But if the S.A.G.E. had a funny smell, it had an even funnier taste when I burned it, to the point where I was thinking, "Really?" It didn't make me cough, but it hurt my lungs and made me feel dizzy. Absolutely bogus. I blew the crap out of my pipe and into the pea gravel of my patio, hoping that the toxins wouldn't leech out into my very organic garden.

The day was not a total loss, though, because I enjoyed the Sweet Kush, and the Calizahr was a downright good herb. My trip was also an interesting eye-opener into the machinations of the marijuana industry, with chains opening generic dispensaries in dusty little towns (the Dacono dispensary is one of fourteen Green Door Wellness Centers in Colorado), where regular, rural folk can pick up an eighth, legally, on their way home from work without fear of arrest.

It isn't a perfect system, not yet. But we're making progress.

The Wildflower Seed and William Breathes are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.

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