Medical marijuana dispensary review: Colorado Care Facility on Colfax

I've been eyeing the CCF sign on Colfax for years now. It's one of the most prominent MMJ signs on Colfax, while at the same time being relatively modest. Just three big letters on an old neon marquee. I always assumed the sign was probably the best part about the otherwise discount-looking shop.

Colorado Care Facility

5130 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220 303-953-8503 www.ccfdenver.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Online menu: Yes. Other types of medicine: Hash, edibles, tincture. Handicap-accessible?: Yes.

I stopped in late for my visit, and with about thirty minutes left until closing time, the shop was overflowing with customers. I handed over my paperwork to younger guy behind the safety glass in the waiting room and filled out patient forms that had been photocopied almost to the point of being unreadable. The waiting room wasn't anything special, with several cannabis posters from Culture on the wall and a few spots for patients to cop a squat and read a Westword or Kush magazine while waiting in line.

After the patients ahead of me finished up, I was led back by the same dude who took my paperwork; he began explaining the shop and giving me a brief tour of what CCF had to offer. Another employee, an older guy I presumed to be the owner (since there were pictures of him holding up trophy fish all over the shop), was helping out an older woman decide between Sour Kush or some other strain.

The shop is small, with glass, aluminum and wooden cabinets forming an L-shaped countertop that takes up most of the bud bar. It's a clean space, well-lit and relaxing, with small stools for patients to pull up while taking a look at the buds. The center maintains a simple, mom and pop-ish feel.

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My budtender turned out to be a complete weed nerd who knew his strains backward and forward, rattling off genetics and suggesting effects like it was his job -- which is good, since it is. We went over how the shop uses a coco medium and Canna nutrients in its grow and efforts to build up the top shelf. Currently, the center caps everything at $35 an eighth, tax not included. Then it's a step down to $30 eighths and $20 eighths -- some of the lowest regular prices around, for sure.

The budtender was honest about CCF's quality breakdown. The top shelf held the best buds, and the quality difference between that shelf and the lower two was certainly noticeable. While opening up jars of the top shelf strains, such as the Glass Slipper, Sweet Sweet and Tangerine Haze, put a bubble of deliciousness around my nose, while things like the Bubba and Sour OG on the middle shelf lacked any smell whatsoever. The bottom shelf was a mix of premature, small buds like the hay-like Bruce Banner and mediocre Sour Willy. Of course, these were $20 for an eighth of meds, and the patient in front of me said that's all she purchases.

Edibles and concentrates are kept in separate parts of the counter from the herb. Colorado Care Facility doesn't have an MIP, so edibles were all from off-site bakeries. Same goes for the selection of $35-per-gram BHO.

It's really a no-frills shop with no-frills weed. Not to say strains like the Sweet Sweet, Tangerine Haze and borderline-rotten smelling (in a good way) Widow Wreck weren't quality buds. But most of CCF's stock seemed geared toward the discount market. In all, it was a short and uncomplicated visit and I have a feeling that is how most of the transactions tend to be. With signs out on Colfax advertising such inexpensive herb, the folks at the Facility are clearly not above luring in the value shopper.

No big deal for first-time patients, but the prices were low enough that I walked out with a half-gram of BHO and four-gram eighth of herb for around $48 after tax.

Page down for strain reviews and photos. Tangerine Haze Usually, it's the distinct smell of Tangerine Haze that sells me or doesn't when I'm looking at this strain. It's simple: Either it smells like the peel of a tangerine, or it doesn't. But the spear-like shape and silver frosting of these sativa buds were what caught my eye this time around. Well developed, with a good density and a slick, almost waxy feel after handling the buds from all of the residual oils and waxes. And the smell? Yes, it was there. Prominently. So much so that my car smelled like I took a detour through the Sunkist factory and hit a skunk on my way out. Clean herb after a scope, and the good curing and drying made it an enjoyable strain to medicate the residual sourness of my stomach pains after being hospitalized the other week. It was also nice to have this stinky, cheerful little bud around for my mood as well, giving me a much needed boost of energy around mid-day. If the shop keeps Tangerine at this consistency, it will be in my pipe much more often. Glass Slipper Very cool cross of Cinderella '99 and Pineapple that adds a Tangerine-esque quality to the authentically fruity smell of the Glass Slipper. Known for helping out skinny, sick dudes like myself with stomach problems, this cut was presented to me as a way of helping get my appetite up and nausea down. The smell was somewhere between the tart sweetness of a pineapple with crispness -- like adding a piece of celery to a rum punch.The buds were well grown, with thick, long calyxes that crest toward the middle in a towering shape, with a healthy dusting of amber trichomes across the surface. It didn't disappoint when it came to my symptoms; I went from having zero appetite to being unable to satisfy the growing hunger in my belly. A few puffs of this Glass Slipper mixed with the energy of the Tangerine Haze was a good combination. But as for being top-shelf, the buds were seeded and though they weren't the tiny, underdeveloped seeds that like to hide out and were easy to spot, they weren't huge, plant-able beans, either. At least one still found itself in the middle of a roasting bowl. Good bud otherwise, after a bit of old-school sorting. (For a cool lineage chart on this strain, click here ) Moon Rocks OG Kush Moon Rocks wouldn't be my first choice for a product name, but then again, I'm not in the business of selling marijuana concentrates. Colorado Care Facility doesn't make this BHO, but the wax the center carries comes from its own trim, at least. By comparison to the bubble hash, the wax is about double the price, at $35 a gram. The little sample I brought home was well dried by the time I unscrewed the cap, with only a feint smell of herb coming from the hard, tan chunks. Dabbed out on a titanium nail, the wax burned harsh with a hot, burning finish. I say this all the damn time lately, but I really should have gone with the bubble hash in retrospect. While $35 isn't a bad price, I would recommending finding a shop that specializes in BHO, given the quality of what CCF had.

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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