Medical marijuana dispensary review: Colorado Wellness Inc.

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Broadsterdam. The Green Mile. That Stretch of Broadway With All the Weed Shops.

It doesn't matter what you call South Broadway between I-25 and Evans: Patients have a lot of choices about where to buy weed in a pretty small area....

Colorado Wellness, Inc.

2057 S. Broadway Denver, CO 80210 303-862-5169

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Online menu: No. Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO, edibles. Handicap-accessible?: Yes.

Because of that, price wars have hit the area pretty hard. That's good for patients, as finding anything costing more than $35 an eighth is becoming increasingly difficult. But a lot of the times, you are getting what you pay for: scuzzy shops that haven't been cleaned in years, sub-par warehouse weed on clearance and the general impression that medicine isn't the first thing on the shop owner's minds.

When I think of finding really good dispensary herb, then, I don't immediately think of South Broadway. But after my visit to Colorado Wellness Inc., my mindset is starting to change.

Compared to nearby shops, Colorado Wellness looks surprisingly simple from the outside, lacking the dozens of signs advertising cheap weed that so many neighbors have. Parking was easy between the MMC and the usually busy Famous Pizza joint next door. The waiting area is a huge, high-celienged room that reminded me of the foyers of modern suburban elementary schools, where all the kids and classrooms are locked away behind security doors manned by a receptionist in a glassed-in booth. I buzzed the doorbell stuck on the glass, bringing my budtender from the back to take my paperwork and enter me into the system. I snagged a seat in the lounge set up in the windowed corner near Broadway, stocked with a few Kush Magazines and Westwords for people to read. But I hardly had time to look around before my budtender buzzed me back through the security door.

The room I entered felt equally as large as the waiting room due to the high ceilings and a radio tuned to a modern rock station that echoed from nearby as my budtender gave me the first-timer tour. Herb is kept in two glass-topped display cases with indica and indica-dominant hybrids on the right and sativas on the left. Sock jars are kept below the cabinet in hidden drawers that keep the clutter off the back walls and counter tops. Hash and concentrates are kept in another counter on the other side of the cash register from the herb.

Colorado Wellness had a wide selection not only of strains, but also of concentrates: $10 grams of kief, $20 grams of icewater extraction, BHO selling for $50 a gram and even some ISO hitting the $50 mark. I know I was recently enamored with ISO at the same price, but I've had some time since to let that percolate and now think the price should really come down. That said, I did get a 20 percent discount on concentrates for being a first-timer, so I snagged some ISO to test out anyway. It's worth noting that while not all of CW's hash had the waxy consistency of other hashmakers around town, some strains were very appealing. There was a Tea Pot Lounge-esque vibe to the selection, and the budtender I spoke with even said the shop is moving away from BHO to focus mainly on icewater and ISO hash.

My first pass at the bud bar, I wasn't looking closely at what was on deck. Heading back over after the hash tour, though, my eyes popped out a bit. To start, the OG selection featured about four different phenos with hearty, thick nuggets coated in trichomes and glistening with oils. Most impressive was the Headband OG, which was priced about $2 higher per gram than everything else in the shop. The OG 18 was also a tasty smelling and looking sample; each bud was stacked with silver trichomes and nearly conical in shape. The Abusive and Reserva Privada OGs were equally enticing.

On the fruitier side of things, the shop had a good selection of flowers like the Blue Dream, a wispier Durban Poison and a cut of Golden Goat with inch-long orange pistils covering dusted calyxes underneath. Everything I saw was a damn good representation of the strain, and at $35 an eighth with tax included it was easily the best value I have come across in the past few months. Colorado Wellness, Inc. also has $150 ounce specials for clearance strains. Everything else (aside from the top-shelf Headband OG) sells for $200 an ounce, so there's value in bulk. Still, the prices on the small bags were perfectly reasonable.

Overall, the shop was simple, no-frills place, and I didn't feel pushed into any one purchase or another by the staff. Meds were clean and very well grown and prices were caregiver-low -- and that's really all it takes to be a top-notch shop.

Page down to see what William took home this week. Cheese It's amazing how stinky, rank-smelling flowers like these can be so appealing to the right person -- and CWI's Cheese caught my nose immediately. It's a leafier strain in general, but the buds were well formed and well dried, with curling sugar leaves all around giving the them a fluffy, cloud-like appearance that hid the trichome-covered dense calyxes beneath. Breaking up the bud brought up the moldy, blue-cheese-like funk of the herb, which was also extremely present in the flavor of the vape and smoke. I've always liked Cheese for the hybrid effects it produces, seeing it as an active indica that makes everything from dealing with back pain and muscle soreness to a game of disc golf with friends that much better. At the price, the sample I brought home was well worth the dinero and I'll be back again for this queso. Headband OG Like Campbell's Soup for the stoner soul, this Headband OG was mmm-mmm good looking in the shop and the overpowering leather/rubber/tennis ball funk of the stock jar that my budtender stuck under my nose lingered for a minute after he took the buds away. Listed as an indica hybrid, this bud behaved more like a sativa, with a quick elevator ride up the spine and a burst of creativity and euphoria in the noggin. A knockout in flavor as well, the shop's simple ingredients of molasses, kelp, guano and castings let the genetics flourish, and someone did an excellent job trimming and then curing this herb. From what I've seen, very few people within the span of blocks that is Broadsterdam (and that's a lot of shops) are doing herb this good, and even at the $12 per-gram increase, this single top-shelf cut comes out to just over $40 with tax included. QWISO As I mentioned earlier, the shop is taking a Tea Pot Lounge-like approach to the concentrates -- opting to take a bit more time to extract the icewater hash and produce more waxy products. The MMC is also taking the non-BHO approach and using a quick-wash isopropyl alcohol wash instead to create vapable and dabbable high-strength concentrates. Very gooey consistency when heated up, but relatively brittle and easy to manage at room temperature, the amber goodness shone like THC taffy when pulled apart between the fingers and had a good herb-like smell, though I wouldn't say it was anywhere near strain-distinct. A dab of this on a skillet burned quickly, delivering an instant rush of much-needed meds the other morning when I woke up pukey. For daytime smoking, this was somewhat strong and I ended up reserving it for setting myself right in the morning and getting nice and munchied-up for dinner at night. Downside? Shit is pricey, son. My budtender did mention that it would be coming down in price eventually, but for now the $50 per-gram tag is too steep to be a regular purchase for me just yet.

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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