Medical marijuana dispensary review: Citi-Med in south Denver

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With nearby Serenity Moon pushed out of its location on University at Asbury earlier this year, Citi-Med is easily the closest medical marijuana center to the heart of the DU campus.

On that note, it was easily the closest legal place to buy marijuana near the debate yesterday -- although I doubt the prez or Mitt Romney noticed.


1640 East Evans Ave. Denver, CO 80210 303-975-6485 www.denversdispensary.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Marijuana prices: $25-$45/3.5 grams, depending on quality. Online menu?: Yes. Handicap-accessible?: Yes.

Citi-Med is in a small strip center on Evans that has served for years as a second cafeteria to DU students,with the original Chipotle on one end and Anthony's Pizza on the other. It's also just a block from the world-famous Jerusalem restaurant -- the only reason I find myself near DU anymore.

The location means the store is likely to get a lot of student walk-in traffic. At least that's the impression I got after seeing the DU swag hung up on the waiting room walls -- plus I went there a few times when I was in grad school and needed a gram or two for the evening. I never found anything amazing, but neither did I ever walk out empty-handed.

Apparently, not much has changed.

Citi-Med is a small shop inside. The front half is a little waiting room with a couch and leather chairs set up facing each other. A flat-screen TV is hung on the green wall; it's tuned to SportsCenter. A door leading back to the bud bar is in the middle of the back wall, and to the right of that is a small, mirrored window where an ominous voice called out a "What's up, man?" and asked for my paperwork and ID when I walked in the door.

It turned out to be the same guy seen on the shop's website. He welcomed me in, told me I would be getting first-time patient pricing, then stood back and had me pick out the strains I wanted to see one by one from the shelves behind the high bud bar. We didn't chat much -- just a few questions here and there about his preferences, which he was happy to answer. He was nice enough, but I could tell it had been a slow day and he was about as ready to be home on the couch with a bowl of herb as I was.

There were about fifteen to eighteen different strains on the shelves, including a jar of $75/ounce leafy shake and a batch of low-quality XXX Diesel that looked like a neglected stepchild in its jar. The rest of the herb is priced at around $40 an eighth for members ($70 quarter-ounces) and about $5 more per eighth for non-members when it came to the higher-quality buds.

Page down for the rest of the review, including strain photos and reviews. But I use the term "higher quality" loosely here. Nothing I saw was mind-blowing, and the few strains that did have the looks down didn't boast any of the strain-distinct odors they should have. The Purple Voodoo was one of the latter, with a slathering of crystals on the orange-tinted buds and only a faint whiff of sweet cannabis above the otherwise dull aroma. Blue Dream, Orange Kush, 303 Kush -- all suffered from the same problems. I managed to check out six or seven strains, and didn't need to see much more after that. I ended up bringing home the Chem 4 and the Kush Dawg to sample.

The Chemdawg 4 wasn't really that Chem-y in the jar at the shop, and for the life of me, I can't figure out why I thought this was even worth bringing home. The buds looked underfed, and despite the amber trichomes and sunset-orange pistils, it looked like it could have used another month filling out in flower. The usual BB-sized calyxes Chem 4 puts out were the size of sesame seeds. Broken up, the buds had the artificially floral smell of those ornamental hand soaps your mom kept in the bathroom that you weren't ever supposed to use. Nothing spectacular about the taste, though the buds did burn down to a powdery white ash. Nowhere near worth the $45 non-member price tag. The Kush Dawg was a much better sample development-wise, but like all of the strains on the shelf at Citi-Med, the aroma was lacking; it had little to none of the earthy, rubbery tartness you expect from a Kush hybrid. But as countless bad movies and TV shows have taught us, looks aren't everything in life.

I did find a few banana seeds in the mix when scoping the buds, but otherwise they were all good-looking. The taste was closer to burned popcorn than Kush goodness, which is a real shame considering how much was put into actually growing the herb. It also burned very harsh by the second hit out of a clean glass pipe, as well as in a spliff. These buds are (unfortunately) a good example of only going halfway with the harvest. More time spent flushing and then drying and curing would do wonders for this strain -- and a lot of others on Citi-Med's shelf.

I didn't linger long in the shop, and the budtender was through weighing out my order before I had a chance to really check out the edibles selection beyond a few brownies, cakes and candies on shelves to the left of the bud bar. Bongs, vaporizers and other smoking devices were on shelves opposite the edibles.

The center also carries CO2 hash, six or seven strains and blends of bubble hash (way overpriced at $30 a gram), kief and BHO, although the latter was out of stock during my visit. The icewater-extraction hash is pressed into interesting, thin wafers, like someone had taken a rolling pin to the batch before it dried. There was lots of plant matter in the flakes I brought home, and it burned harsh by itself on top of a screen in a bubbler. It was more mellow in a spliff and really not bad in a classic-hash kinda way. It packed a punch that went straight to my noggin and didn't leave for a good hour, but it certainly was not a $30 gram compared to the $15 grams of equivalent-quality hash at places I've visited lately.

For what it is -- a medical marijuana dispensary in an otherwise barren neighborhood -- the shop does okay. I didn't see smell any moldy bud or see nasty signs on the plants I saw. But until Citi-Med gets the finishing stages of cannabis growing down better, my trips back to DU will be limited to late-night falafel and hummus.

Read more medical marijuana center reviews from our in-house cannabis critic William Breathes over at Mile Highs and Lows and keep up with all of your marijuana news over at The Latest Word.

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