Medical marijuana dispensary review: Green Mountain Care in Littleton

Green Mountain Care is one of the few dispensaries south of East Hampden Avenue and west of I-25 -- square in the middle of what is otherwise a dispensary no-man's land. The shop isn't on any main strip, and aside from the neon "Open" sign in the window, it looks like a small house surrounded by more modern apartments and squeezed in by freeway-sized Santa Fe.

Green Mountain Care

5423 Prince St. Littleton, CO 80120 303-862-6571 www.gmcmmj.com

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range (members): $10/gram $30/eighth-ounce, $200/ounce. Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $10/gram, $35/eighth-ounce, $220/ounce. Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, kief, hash, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

First thing about the shop that stands out is how discreet it is. Parking is around back, and to anyone driving by, it looks like you're going into the attorney's office next door. Personally, I don't care who sees me going into a dispensary, but I can imagine there's quite a few PTA suburbanites down that way who don't want to be seen by their nosy neighbors walking out with a bag of sticky greens.

The dispensary is locked up tight through the day, and you've got to ring a buzzer to be let in. I was greeted by a short blond woman who took my ID and red card and walked back to a small receptionist room off the main waiting area to copy everything into the shop's system. Another patient was ahead of me, so I took a seat on the comfy couch to wait in what was at one time someone's living room. The shop is clean, comfortable and quiet. No music or anything playing the day I was in, just the sound of the occasional car passing by on Prince Street in back. While there's little doubt you're in a dispensary due to the edibles displays hung on the walls and pot books on the waiting-room table, it's casual enough that you could imagine sending your mom here if she needed to stock up on edibles.

Eventually, the guy ahead of me finished up his purchase -- and a long-winded tale he was telling the budtender -- and it was my turn to head on back. The little bud bar is just to the side of the receptionist window, somewhat dimly lit compared to the rest of the otherwise naturally bright location. Inside, my flat-brimmed budtender was going through the jars, filling a few up for the day. A nice guy: He stopped his work and gave me the quick mini-tour of everything Green Mountain Care had to offer.

The center carries a pretty broad range of edibles, though mostly sweets and treats like the tie-dyed sandwich cookies, assorted hard candies and a few different candy-bar concoctions. Also in stock were THC capsules, for those of you who want to be more discreet with your cannabis consumption, plus body lotions and salves from several different companies, including Mary Jane's.

The concentrates collection was also relatively robust. Bubble hash was done by an outside processor that broke the tan- to brown-colored mid-grade water hash into small, square $25-per-gram chunks. The blond kief -- only a little left at the time of my visit -- was probably the best purchase of the non-solvent, at $10 a gram. The shop also contracts for wax, including Moonrocks -- a brand becoming much more common around town lately, but it's yet to win me over due to the blended-strain dullness -- and a few strain-specific grams from Discreet Treats made with Green Mountain Wellness trim. Moonrocks sold for $40 a gram due to potency, according to my budtender. The Discreet Treats sold for about $10 less, and first-timers get patient discounts that brought it down even lower.

Page down for the rest of the review and strain photos. While the Discreet Treat wax was decent, it had the dry, crumbly consistency of oil after it has been in a vaporizer pen cartridge. Still, it smoked okay on a nail and didn't leave any nasty residue behind. Over a bowl, the flavor of the Silver Pearl came out a little bit stronger rather than instantly being evaporated on the nail. While supposedly not as potent as the Moonrocks, a dab about the size of a half a Tic-Tac eased a stabbing lower back pain enough for me to get some sleep.

Unfortunately, most of the cannabis on the shop's shelves was from other dispensaries. The budtender told me GMC has a good relationship with its main grow, which used to be an affiliate, but the products don't quite meet its standards. In fact, out of the nine or ten strains on display, only two, Durban Poison and Chiesel, were done at Mountain Care Farms, and both jars were down to marble-sized buds or smaller. That's not to say buds like the Flo and Sour Diesel weren't decent, but you could tell they weren't as cured as they could have been. My budtender said it would be a few weeks before shelves are filled from the most recent harvest. So in the meantime, I snagged the only two offerings in stock.

Despite the tiny little bud droppings, the Chiesel was surprising potent and enjoyably tasty. The earthy-tart Diesel was strong up front, but breaking open the bud let out the stinky, stinky yellow-cheese funk making up the other half of this mellow, buzzing bud. It wasn't a couch-dragger or anything like that, but I found myself with a bit of THC-induced ADD when trying to get back to writing after successfully using it to deal with some indigestion the other evening. Clean buds, and though the size was small, they were a big buy for the $30/eighth price tag for members and first-timers.

The Durban jar in the shop was filled with teeny-tiny budlets like the ones in the picture. But collectively, they had a sweet, full, Durban licorice spice to them that crazily smelled nearly identical to a Tootsie Roll when broken up. Not sure if the sample was from seed or clone, but what a cool phenotype. It wasn't all fake chocolate in the taste, though -- mostly just the exotic flavor you expect with Durban Poison. Great appetite and mood lift on this, with a couple-minute gap between finishing up a two-hit bowl with not even the slightest hunger growl and destroying steak night and lapping up strawberries for dessert.

While my timing was horrible considering how few in-house strains were on hand, I wasn't necessarily disappointed in my visit. The pricing is reasonable, the staff was helpful, and from what I saw from the tiny selection, the shop manages to carry worthwhile herb. That said, it might be worth a few weeks' wait until the shelves are filled back up with organic, soil-grown cannabis if you're looking to try Green Mountain Care out.

Read more reviews from Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic, William Breathes, in our Mile Highs and Lows blog, and keep up with all your Colorado marijuana news over at The Latest Word.

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