Medical marijuana dispensary review: ADG Herbal Medicine, Dan Maes's aromatic neighbor

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This dispensary has closed.

In "Mile Highs and Lows," Westword's William Breathes offers a no-holds-barred look at what goes on behind the locked doors of marijuana dispensaries, whether they resemble swanky bars or a dope dealer's college dorm room. See our updated dispensary list here, and continue reading for Breathes's take on ADG Herbal Medicine.

ADG Herbal Medicine 11 W. Hampden Ave. Englewood, CO 80110 303-219-3129 www.adghm.com/

Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. Owner: Adam and Kyle (did not give last names) Owner's Statement: "Our knowledgeable staff can assist you in choosing the right type of medication for your needs." Opened: September 2009 Raw marijuana price range: Owners say $30-$60/eighth. The day I was in, however, only one strain was priced at $40/eighth, and the rest were $50-$60/eighth. Other types of medicine: Hash, tinctures, edibles (from vendors). Patient services and amenities: Smoking accessories sold on site. Wheelchair accessible: No

According to one of the owners, I visited ADG Herbal Medicine at the absolute worst time.

The tall, bleached-blond girl with the Eastern European accent and limited knowledge of the buds was only a temporary employee and won't be working there again, he said. He also said that the awful pre-rolled joints filled with larf (leafy bottom buds) capped with a cigarette-style filter don't represent what the shop is really about. Nor does the "horrible" Strawberry Haze they had in stock represent the quality of the herb they usually carry. The owner, Kyle, said there was a shakeup in ownership and stressed that the shoddy service and swaggy products are a "corporate thing" that has since been changed.

Interestingly, the dispensary is located in the old Hampden Building in Englewood, directly below the campaign headquarters of gubernatorial hopeful Dan Maes, who recently equated marijuana legalization with whoring out teenage girls at a Colorado Springs debate. Something tells me this is the type of guy who truly didn't inhale.

I spoke with Allison, a member of Maes's campaign staff, who told me in a diplomatically friendly way that, aside from their office occasionally smelling of fresh cannabis, the dispensary is a good neighbor. She did say that a few patients wandered into the anti-legalization candidate's office a few times looking for the pot shop, but that petered out as the political signs went up on the windows. She also noted that the combination of ganja and the bakery across the hallway produce an "interesting combination of smells."

Walking down stairs in a narrow stairway to the dispensary, that "interesting smell" Allison spoke of is immediately apparent, as the sugary-sweet smell of cakes being baked in the adjoining bakery mixes with the faint smell of dry herb. The dispensary is behind the first door on the left. I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me that the tiny, cramped space of ADG Herbal Medicine used to be the janitor's closet for the entire building.

The waiting room has just enough room for two or three people to sit, and the dispensary room is even smaller. You could almost stretch out and touch all four walls of the bud room at once if it weren't for the two glass cases taking up most of the floor space. According to Kyle, the small space has worked well for them so far. He said the majority of ADG's patients are over the age of forty and like that the entrance isn't right off the street, because it gives them more privacy. He added that the small shop has a sort of charm to it.

The day I was in, the girl behind the counter was friendly enough, though her knowledge of the strains was limited mostly to whether it was sativa- or indica-heavy. In fact, her opening line to me was, "Are you an indica guy or a sativa guy?" I wasn't aware that I had to be one or the other. The shop had a good selection of vaporizers, pipes and even a collapsible bong in one case and about a dozen strains of herb as well as three or four different kinds of hash and edibles in the other.

The budtender pulled out several jars for me to check out, including Sweet Tooth, White Rhino, Flo and Marley's Calling. The shop also had some lesser-quality blueberry, White Widow and a Sour Diesel that wasn't very sour or diesel-smelling. All of the strains sold for $50, though many at the same quality would sell for $40 at other shops I've visited lately. The budtender also made sure to point out their "exclusive" sativa strain, Da Vinci, saying, "This is the absolute best. People drive here from Colorado Springs for this." It looked good, but I was confused as to why it was selling for $60 (before tax) when it didn't appear to be of any higher quality than some of the other strains. Kyle said that aside from the strain testing at 26 percent THC, the Da Vinci "costs a pretty penny to keep exclusive to us" because "our grower charges us quite a bit for them." What I took away from our conversation was basically this: ADG doesn't have a reason for the strain to go for $60 other than that people will pay it.

ADG personnel insisted that they are changing a lot of things for the better: new direction from ownership, new budtenders, better-quality herb. Kyle even said there are talks of moving upstairs to the Maes headquarters after the November elections so that the clinic can become handicap-accessible. And while a lot of those things could really improve their dispensary, what really needs fixing is their pricing structure.

Page down for the product reviews/pictures.

Trinity There was a strange mint spice to this herb out of the jar. Breaking it produced a stronger citrus smell. Dark greens, tans and browns. It was a $50 strain, although I've seen other shops sell this quality for less. The herb could have been dried and cured better, as there was an indistinguishable hashy, dark flavor to the bowl with a harsh exhale that put me in a gut-wrenching coughing spell. It had an uplifting sativa high, however, and the strain helped get me hungry for breakfast.

Da Vinci

Very tight, small calyxes on this reportedly "100 percent" sativa with a spicy, sour-apple smell to it. Grinding up the herb in my fingers left them sticky with a chem-y smell. When the herb was burning, there wasn't much of a taste to it. A slight spice on the first inhale, but it had a harsh blandness on the exhale. Medically, this was "cataract weed," in that my eyes got lazy and relaxed -- but otherwise, it was a mild sativa head buzz. Granted, I don't like paying $60 an eighth for anything, even if it's

High Times

-centerfold quality. But the Da Vinci was flat-out disappointing for the price.

William Breathes is the pot pen name of our medical marijuana dispensary reviewer. Read the William Breathes bio here.

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