Medical marijuana dispensary review: Denver Patients Group

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This dispensary has closed.

I've been seeing so much crap herb in shops lately that when I finally found some chronic at Denver Patients Group, I completely overlooked how pricey the shop can be for non-members.

Denver Patients Group

Location: 2863 Larimer St. Unit B

Website: www.denverpatientsgroup.com/

Phone: 303-484-1662

Owner/Manager: Aaron Pearson

Raw marijuana price range: $40-$50 for an eighth, $12-20 grams of bud. Shake and mixed bags sell for as low as $25 an eighth.

Other types of medicine: Butane hash oil, edibles, tinctures.

Handicap accessible? Yes.

Denver Patients Group is in a small tan building with large green crosses in the windows on Larimer Street about seven blocks from Coors Field. The lobby isn't much; a few plastic and metal chairs and a fuzzy twenty-something-inch flat screen TV that sat on a shelf in the corner broadcasting the local news the day I was in. The place doesn't feel unwelcoming, though staffers clearly aren't out to create a lounge for patients to chill at all day reading High Times.

Paperwork was minimal, too, and within a few minutes, I was done and on my way back to the bud bar. The bar itself was about as simple as the front room, albeit with a huge fish tank on one side of the room. Two clean glass counter-tops made up the bar, while edibles, concentrates and clear white pill jars full of pre-weighed amounts of herb filled the shelves.

The budtender gave me the quick first-time-in-the-shop talk, walking me through their selection of different meds. A younger guy, he was open and honest about what strains he had and hadn't tried and what strains he liked and why. Samples of the dozen or so strains were on the counter in small, sealed jars, and my budtender encouraged me to open them all up and smell my way through the merchandise. The buds went from not that impressive to some really funky dank. The shop's Blue Dream was fruity and sweet, and the Diablo OG Kush was enticing as well. I ended up with the Headband, Triple Diesel and another cousin in the OG Kush family named Larry OG -- the last two really standing out among the samples. Owner Aaron Pearson said his crew grows everything hydroponically, and members take pride in drying and curing out their herb properly.

Granted, not all of the jars were impressive. On the opposite side of the spectrum were the bland G.W. Kush and a Durban Poison, which lacked the distinct spiciness that the African-based cut tends to carry. Despite the dull smells on some, everything I opened looked to be grown well. I'm also on a pretty big hash and concentrate kick lately. Part of it comes from how effective the medicine is for treating my nausea, and the other half comes from how enjoyable it is to get completely rocked on high levels of THC. The shop had grams of BHO for $50 apiece, which isn't a bad price comparatively. But still, $50 is a lot to drop on one gram, and being able to buy it by the half-gram would be better for me as a penny-pinching patient who still wants to get some strong meds.

My only real gripe with the shop was their pricing structure for non-members. Top tier strains sell for an acceptable $50 per eighth, but buying it by the gram runs $20, which is about $5.70 too much. I can understand charging more for the inconvenience of weighing out just a gram for some patients, but when the shop is already pre-weighing everything, it's not an inconvenience. The same is true for their mid-tier pricing, as well. Pearson admitted that it makes it hard for patients to try variety and forces them to buy the eighth to get the better deal. "I think it's worth that much," he said. "If you go around and check out other stores, you aren't going to see the quality compared to our stuff." He added that patients who sign up DPG as their caregiver get all strains at $12 a gram or $40 an eighth. The shop does have lower price brackets, so you aren't forced to buy the most expensive stuff. But I'm not out hunting for mid-grade herb.

I walked out with a $50 gram of hash and two grams of herb, plus a free gram for being a first-time patient, for a total of $90. No doubt the herb was good, and it's probably not a bad shop to sign up as your caregiver. But for non-members, it is a bit hard on the wallet.

Page down to see if it was worth the dough. Headband: $50/eighth, $20/gram The gram I walked out with was somewhat broken up, with parts of the bud clearly missing to make it a gram. Still, it was clear the flower was done well, with good, light-green coloring and sparse light hairs throughout. The bud had great coverage of amber trichomes and a strong, earthy mix of Diesel and a sugary sweetness straight out of the jar. Breaking up even the smallest chunk of herb left my fingers sticky, and small chunks were all I needed to get a good head rush from this cut. Great for a puff out of the one-hitter before breakfast, to get the appetite up with both the cannabanoids and with the mouthwatering flavor. Triple Sour Diesel: $50/eighth, $20/gram I don't have much info on this strain, other than a few websites and blogs saying it's a newer one to the Colorado scene. According to one seed company, the cut is Double Sour Diesel x Sour OG. Regardless, I saw a good looking bud a few months ago that a friend had brought home from Terrapin Care Station (a place I have yet to check out) and have been on the lookout for other cuts of it since. Really cool color contrast on this herb, with blood-red hairs, forest green calyxes and sugary white and amber hairs all over. The smell is exactly what you would expect from a Diesel cut, but with a lingering, pungent, skunky finish. The flavor of the herb was equally as strong, and exhaling from my nose made everything smell like a can of Wilson tennis balls for an hour. Which, due to being so stoned, was thoroughly entertaining. Larry OG Kush: $50/eighth, $20 gram I'd like to meet Larry and thank him for his namesake strain. The day I was in, the sample of Larry OG looked and smelled more appealing than the shop's prized Diablo OG. The Larry had an unmistakable OG funk and tight but not dense bud structure. The gram I brought home in the pre-weighed medicine jar looked a bit more stuffed and compacted, however. Despite the packing job, the herb was done well. The Larry OG had an earthy, Pine-Sol nose when ground up for a doobie and subsequently had a pine-sap freshness on top of the soil-like base when smoked. I recently got speared by a tree in the woods at Keystone and have been using stronger, more sedative strains like the Larry OG to ease inflammation and soreness. OG Kush wax (butane extraction): $50/gram Just in case the Larry OG Kush wasn't potent enough for me, I snagged a gram of the OG Kush wax to take home. The orangey-brown chunks had a workable consistency not that different from bubble hash and still carried a strong ganja smell when broken up. I smoked it for a few days on top of bowls, adding a nice lemon freshness to the first hit. On a skillet, the wax burned smooth and clean, and less than an eighth of a gram was more than enough to get me blasted before going out for a Friday night. Good for the price, but again, I'd like to see it offered by the half-gram.

William Breathes is the pot pen name for our medical marijuana dispensary critic. See where else he has been recently at our Mile Highs and Lows review archive.

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