Medical Marijuana Dispensary Review: Cannabis For Health in Denver

For being so out in the open, the dispensary is really quite hidden on a small retail stretch of Pearl Street at East Alameda Avenue, anchored by a convenience store across the street that doubles as the cash-only dispensary's ATM. I've probably driven past it 1,000 times in the last five years and never noticed the tiny, two-story gingerbread house -- which I realized instantly was a real shame when I finally stepped inside. See also: Five Years Later at Walking Raven in Denver

Cannabis for Health

285 South Pearl Street 720-542-3437

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $11.15/gram $23.23/eighth-ounce Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $12.08/gram $32.52/eighth-ounce Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, kief, hash, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes (you can even order online). Handicap-accessible? Yes. Recreational sales? No.

I parked down the street in front of someone's house and meandered along the sidewalk and through the front door; the smell of ganja wafted around the tight little hallway. Bathrooms were up the narrow stairs and the lobby was to the left, in what had once been a living room. I was taken aback by the eight other people already waiting to get back and buy meds, but figured if the line was that long the place must be worth it. I muttered something sarcastic about everyone else getting the same invite for the party, which drew sideways looks from the aloof kid on the couch and a blank stare from the one other person over the age of thirty, who was working on his crossword puzzle.

After college, I had a friend who would call four or five of us over to his house in Boulder to each buy a few ounces after he picked up pot from his grower friend up in the hills. A few hours later, his apartment living room would be packed with guys crammed on couches, taking bong hits, picking over old Cannabible books and playing with Nug the dog while waiting as bud got weighed out.

The nineteen- and twentysomething-year-olds in the lobby of Cannabis for Health all anxiously waiting to get the latest shatter in from Green Dot, White Mousse, The Lab and TC Labs reminded me of those days.

The bearded hipster with plugs in his ears was cheerful for how busy the shop wasy; from behind the glass wall, he asked me how my day was going. I filled out a clipboard of information, handed it back and took the first empty spot that opened up, dropping nearly to the floor on a leather couch so worn that ARC would have a hard time giving it away for free. I looked around the dark, tinywaiting room and couldn't find much to read but a six-month-old Time magazine. But for all of that, the place felt homey, cozy and welcoming, especially with the cold blast outside. It wasn't clinical, but it didn't feel run-down, either -- just worn-in.

People in the waiting room knew each other, and talked about tagging each other on Instagram photos of sick glass pipes and bubblers; I got the impression that they meet there occasionally to buy shatter -- which the dispensary apparently had a reputation for. A small chalkboard set up in the old fireplace listed a menu of shatter from some of the most well-known and well-respected concentrate companies in Colorado, like Green Dot, White Mousse, The Lab, TC Labs and Native Roots.

Despite the crowd, things went by pretty fast -- I think the people ahead of me had all called ahead to see what the latest shipment was. They were going into the back in groups of two or three, and I ended up waiting only five minutes before someone called my name and I headed to the skunky and tiny bud bar. Bud was slightly obscured through the glass cabinet and glass jars, but I could still see instantly how good the herb was. Buds were in huge, shiny chunks and jars were filled to the brim without much shake. My budtender was a smart guy; without my asking, he rattled off strain lineages for things like the Canatonic, Glass Slipper, Trainwreck and East Coast Alien -- all super-fine examples that looked like someone had sprayed green and tan nuggets of gems with glue and then rolled them around in tiny glass crystals. The Flo was also some of the best I've seen all year, and I thought the Durban Poison was some sort of alien-morph of that strain with supersized calxes stacked on top of each other. They were dense and thick with a chunky, Kush-like appearance but a full Durban spice smell. Page down for photos and the rest of the review.
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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes

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