Medical marijuana patients who’ve had their cards for more than five years talk about Denver dispensaries with a “back in my day” tone that quickly gets annoying. Because if your “day” was back in 2009, there’s a good chance that everyone else older than 23 experienced it, too. Still, comparing the pot business then to the industry today reveals nothing short of a serious transformation.
One blast from the past I hear about frequently is Altitude Wellness Center (unrelated to the Altitude chain currently in Denver) and the resin-glazed buds it offered. The Denver Tech Center shop switched over to the Nature’s Herbs & Wellness brand in 2014, but lately I’ve been hearing great things about the stanky selection of Altitude’s successor at 3435 South Yosemite Street. So I recently took a trip to south Denver to see if the location had rekindled its old magic.
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SHOW ME HOW
The menu didn’t disappoint, with intoxicating tropical sativas and a syrup-coated hybrid named Sugar Punch. My budtender, Ryan, seemed to know his stuff, pulling out one impressive strain after another while describing each in detail. Sensing my childish angst during this window shopping, he pulled out one last jar: Blackberry Kush — at least, it was supposed to be. From where I stood, I saw black currents with the occasional green streak. Although it had the highest price tag in an already expensive lineup, I couldn’t resist the allure of darkness, and bought a gram for $22.68 after tax.
Bred with Afghani and Blackberry genetics, Blackberry Kush is an indica known for dark-purple buds and vibrant orange pistils that pop out. My single-nug gram was a deep dark purple, similar to heavy cuts of Granddaddy Purple that I’ve had over the years. As with GDP, I was expecting an intense Kool-Aid flavor and strong body high. But while my bud was a sight to behold, its smell didn’t match up. Combined with a crumbly dryness, the bud’s spicy, dusty whiffs made me wonder how old it really was. While a small pinch released subtle hints of the berry and bubblegum scents I was expecting, they were still covered with a musty layer of Grandpa’s breath. Fortunately, there was no mold or mildew, so my guess is that old age was the culprit.
Regardless of the smell, the flavor was still okay — and the potent, earthy hits glued me to the sofa. A Volcano bowl provided enough indica cannabinoids to knock out a buffalo, so my 170-pound-teenager body was no match for it. I might’ve lifted a few fingers to change the volume on the TV, but even that was strenuous.
This Blackberry Kush didn’t have a smell that matched its price, but its beautiful structure and potent effects will probably inspire me to check out the rest of the gorgeous strain lineup at this particular Nature’s Herbs & Wellness outpost.