There's an unwritten rule with restaurant critiquing that you don't visit a place in the first month or so after it opens, since the chef needs a few weeks to break in the staff and grow accustomed to the flow of the operation. The same could apply to medical marijuana dispensaries -- except that if you wait until the shop has been open a few weeks, you'll miss all the herb from the initial harvest. Weighing the two arguments, I delayed (until recently) my visit to Good Meds in Lakewood, which opened in February in the spot formerly occupied by Rocky Mountain Ways.
Good Meds Lakewood
8420 West Colfax Avenue Lakewood, CO 80214 303-238-1253 Goodmedsnetwork.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $30-$40/eighth ounce, $170-$210/ounce. Other types of medicine: Hash oil, shatter oil, edibles, infused drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
The storefront is small, simple and much nicer than the outside of the dated strip center would lead you to believe. Inside, it has that new dispensary smell of dried marijuana and dried paint. There's nothing fancy about Good Meds Lakewood, but the light gray wall with framed and matted pictures of cannabis buds, spaced perfectly, and clean, yellow birch cabinets keep it slick and professional without feeling stuffy.
I handed over my card to the skater-looking dude behind the security window and he buzzed back to the main bud room, where a single bar stool was set up in front of an L-shaped set of glass cabinets.
To your left: a few shelves of hash, concentrates and glass pipes. In the other cabinet: dozens and dozens of glass jars, all filled to the brim with huge, chunky buds.
Good Meds has an edibles license and kitchen in Georgetown. In addition to stuff from Dixie, Dabba and other ubiquitous edibles brands, the shop had its own in-house foods, candies and sweets. The hash selection was all in-house, with strain-specific shatter and BHO selling for $30-$40 a gram.
There aren't any wispy, leafy jars on display at Good Meds. Everything was plump and ripe-looking. I didn't know where to start, so my budtender went through and picked out some of his favorites, including a turpentine-tart Boston OG, Banana OG that smelled like a melted banana daiquiri and a glow-in-the-dark, neon green Sensi Star.
A few of the jars seemed a little moist, and I got hit with a wave of hot, wet air from things like the Flo and Northern Lights. Overall, though, the Good Meds selection seemed impressively produced. Among the most intriguing things on the shelf were two San Fernando Valley OG Kush and Chemdawg crosses dubbed Eli and Peyton Manning.
Eli comes from a Chemdawg 4 cross and Peyton from a Chem '91 cross, and while they share similar genetics, the two were night-and-day different. Whereas the Peyton took on a lot of the dense, pinecone traits of the OG, the Eli was much more Chemdawg in structure, with pod-like bud structure and a light, faded green-and-orange appearance. It smoked much like a buzzy, uplifting and happy Chemdawg, too, but with a richer, earthier back to the flavor. The buds didn't burn down to a clean white ash, though, and after a few hits, the bowl got charcoaled and flavorless -- which might be due to the extra moisture in the flowers.
Continue for the rest of the review. Good Meds also has a clone of Deathstar said to have been cut from the Cannabis Cup winner and certified by the Team Deathstar growers. Tested at Herbal Synergy, it packs a punch with up to 24 percent THC, according to its website. With a buildup like that, I had to bring some home.
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The Deathstar flowers were on the spongey side of being dry, but the smell had a powerful and distinct rubbery tartness of the Sour Diesel in the lineage, mixed with the sugary, lemonade sweetness out of the jar. It's probably not far off from putting on new galoshes and running through a lemon tree grove -- which, incidentally, would not be appealing immediately after smoking a bowl of this Deathstar. A hybrid on paper, this strain tends to put me in slow-mo physically. The moisture did come through in the flavor, with a heavy chlorophyll backdrop to the otherwise yellow SweeTart smoke.
Prices weren't on the cheap side, but they stayed mostly in the reasonable $30-$40 range, with the majority of strains capped at $35 an eighth. There were a handful selling at $40 an eighth, but frankly, they were equally as well grown as the buds just one step down, so I didn't bother considering them. It's best to buy in bulk here, with ounces going for $170 to $210, with an additional $20 off if you buy in bulk at two ounces. Taxes are included in the pricing, which makes the math easy to put together on the spot.
I think just slightly more attention to drying and curing would put the shop on the next level. Good Meds is are already 99 percent of the way there already.