Medical marijuana dispensary review: A Mile High on Alameda

This dispensary has closed.

It wasn't a busy day, but the shop named A Mile High was slammed with customers the day I was in -- including a father in with his toddler son buying herb. Now, I have no problem with herb being used around children, but years of DARE and anti-drug propaganda still make that situation a strange one at first.

A Mile High

63 West Alameda Avenue Denver, CO 80223 303-722-3420 www.amilehighllc.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Online menu: Yes. Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO edibles Handicap-accessible?: Yes.

The center's waiting area doubles as a makeshift head shop, with pipes and bubblers ranging from $7.50 gold-fumed one-hitters to cheap $40 glass bubblers and knockoff glass-on-glass waterpipes. I got a good look at the selection while waiting the fifteen minutes it took for the dude in front of me to make his pick -- and then for a woman who cut ahead of me in line to go in and purchase joints for the road.

Meanwhile, I sat back on a leather couch reading random cannabis magazines and fighting off the urge to pee -- one made worse by the trickling water sculpture on the end table near me. There's an upstairs to the shop, but it's not used for patient services, and judging by the number of cables running through the celieing of the waiting room, it's probably A Mile High's office space. Otherwise, the waiting room was bare and clean, with gray walls and a black-and-white picture of the Georgetown Loop railroad standing as the token piece of artwork.

Finally, the crowd ahead of me dissipated and the overwhelmed budtender came back to copy my paperwork and put me in the shop's system. After a minute of chit-chatting about how busy the shop normally is compared to the onslaught I just witnessed, I was on my way back to the dispensary for some shopping.

Initial impression: There wasn't much to review. About a dozen jars with various amounts of mariuana in them sat on the top shelves of two different display cases. Herb on the left sold for $25 an eighth, while herb on the right went for $35 an eighth. My budtender started out with the usual "What are you in for?" routine and quckly reached for a few jars when I mentioned that I had been on an indica kick lately due to cramping pain.

The first jar he showed me was a wispy, larfy batch of Hash Plant that, in all honesty, I could have grown better. I don't say that much, because I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is. But this herb looked and smelled like it was cut a month early. Similarly larfy was the NYC Sour D, Lemon Skunk and Sour Kush. My budtender, though a nice guy, was clearly done with his day before I walked in and was going through the motions with me as far as strain selection goes. He couldn't even fake the enthusiasm it would have taken to get me to go home with most of their selection.

One or two jars, including some ripe Blue Dream and shakey Sour Diesel looked and smelled better than the rest, but even those were lifeless examples compared to strains I've seen recently in other shops.

Bubble hash sells for $25 a gram, but it looked like pressed dry-sieve and wasn't worth the extra money to bring any home -- especially since it was made from trim from the less-than-developed buds on the shelf. Same for the BHO, which sold for $35 a gram in small jars globbed full of the gooey hash oil.

As far as edibles go, the shop had a good selection of treats from Dr. Jays and Benjamin's, but relatively little else outside of those two product lines. Most edibles sold for around $8 a pop, including the Dr. Jay's Hostess-style cupcakes that I recently tried (and which put me on my ass). The shop also carried Mad Hatter teas that I was told give a full-body relaxation high not unlike a muscle relaxer and are great for pain and soreness.

But I opted for no extras this week, as nothing in the shop was enticing enough to spend any more money than I had to. Splitting an eighth was easy enough, though I was charged at the higher eighth price for some reason and ended up paying around $33 and some change for a half of a $25 eighth and a half of a $30 eighth. On the plus side, I was given a four-gram eighth for being a first-time patient.

Page down for strain reviews and photos. White Shark Remember beasters? I do. I remember getting the vaccum-sealed God buds ripe with crystals but dense as a lump of iron, with a smell like wet hay. I remember peeling the buds from the still-moist stems, likely months after they had been harvested in British Columbia and shipped down to us college kids in the States. Well, here we are in more legal times, and it's amazing to me to find bud that reminds me of old times. Dense, fuzzy amber and brown buds that smelled like the back lot of a petting zoo at first, and with a mild sweet grape smell toward the end. Very indica-heavy, this strain is a knockout when grown right -- and apparently even when grown in mediocre fashion. A bowl of this somewhat harsh, hash-plant-like strain put me down for the count at night -- certainly making me forget about stomach pains as well as anything else I had going on with my day. At $30 an eighth, I guess I can't complain too much. But I wouldn't go back to A Mile High seeking out this cut again by any means. Lavender Kush Fluffy and light, these buds were about as good as it got at A Mile High -- which unfortunately wasn't that great. Not awful, by any means, but this compares to product on the black market last time I checked. Buds rushed to finish-and-dry without giving them time to fully develop or cure. The buds I brought home were both beyond Colorado Trim leafy and needed some pruning before I put them in my bowl. They were also too wet to smoke yet; the buds peeled off the stems instead of snapping and sizzled in my bowl when lit. The harshness from the water content didn't help the flavor, though there were some light lavender tones evident underneath the otherwise uncured flavor. Mildly intoxicating and definitely something that would be great for pain and nausea, but the lesser quality grow made medicating less enjoyable -- and being able to get away and think about things like flavor and smell are a big part of my medical marijuana healing experience.

William Breathes is the pen name of Westword's wandering medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews in our pot blog, Mile Highs and Lows, and keep up with all your marijuana news over at The Latest Word.

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