Medical marijuana dispensary review: A Cut Above in Denver

It's been a long wait, but May flowers eventually came -- at least here at Mile Highs and Lows. It's been a month of mediocre dispensaries (and hailstorms), leaving us with nothing but a few nice buds among a lot of slightly busted flowers while we wait to meet up with our caregiver next week. To restock the jars, we checked in with a place that did us well three years ago and seems to have kept up its standards since then.

A Cut Above

1911 South Broadway Denver, CO 80210 720-536-8965

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Raw marijuana price range: $8.50-$12/gram $20-$35/eighth-ounce, $140-$200/ounce. Non-members pay about 10 percent more. Other types of medicine: BHO, shatter, edibles. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

A Cut Above has been in the heart of "Broadsterdam" for years now. But somehow, it's not like the other bargain shops nearby. Part of that is because the center is set back off the street in the rear corner of a pot-heavy shopping center; there are two other dispensaries within spitting distance. But really, it has more to do with the quality of the buds on the shelf.

Parking in the lot is fierce between the dispensary next door, ACA and the yoga studio. But after a few trips around the block during yet another Colorado hailstorm, I snagged a spot and ran inside.

I hadn't noticed before, but ACA is in what seems to be a former auto repair warehouse -- and there are a few hints of its former life, including the garage bay doors out front and the industrial, exposed wooden beams supporting the old building. A Cut Above's space is huge, and the staff has done a good job of making the most of it.

After being buzzed through from the cookie-stocked foyer, customers walk into a general area of the patient lounge stocked with magazines. Just beyond the receptionist desk, a rack of clothes takes up another chunk of space, and the lengthy, handcrafted bud bar occupies a large portion of the room. It's clean, young and completely non-clinical. That is, unless the employees at your doctor's office play Tool (and if they do, I want to meet your doctor).

First-time customers get treated like a member, but I'm technically a returning customer after stopping by earlier this year to pick up edibles for a review in the Chronicle -- so I was put into the non-member prize zone and barred from buying private-reserve buds like the incredibly frosty and chunky Las Vegas Bubba Kush and the mind-bendingly crystal-coated buds of in-house cross Underdawg. They are the type of buds that make signing the shop up as your primary center worthwhile, since ACA sells to members at the completely reasonable price of $35 an eighth and $200 an ounce.

But again, I couldn't have those. As a returning non-member, I was stuck with the middle-tier buds. Not that it was a problem, really. The reserve buds featured some more rare cuts, sure, and they clearly had been cured and dried better to preserve the odors. But even though some of the mid-tier buds were a little bland, they all looked equally well-developed. Aside from a few staples, a majority of ACA's selection comes from either Colorado's New House Seeds or ACA's own crosses, which have produced some awesome results.

Continue for the rest of the review and photos.

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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes

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