Medical marijuana dispensary review: Healing House in Lakewood

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The Healing House menu is freaking huge, and that alone makes it seem like another warehouse crap shack in the boonies getting by on a (somewhat) isolated location to sell bud.

The isolated-location part is true, with the shop pretty much at the western end of Alameda just a few miles before it crooks southwest around Green Mountain and ends at the foothills. But both the quality of the organic, soil-grown herb and (notably) the selection were well worth the fifteen-minute drive from Denver.

Healing House

10712 W. Alameda Ave. Lakewood, CO 80226 303-988-5255 healinghouseonline.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $10-12/gram $35-$40/eighth-ounce. (*daily specials bring many strains down in price). Members receive 10 percent off all purchases. Other types of medicine: BHO, kief, hash, large edible selection, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

"Mom-and-pop shop" is one way to describe Healing House, but that's not quite right. It was more like walking into a secondhand music or quirky antique store, with hand-me-down glass cabinets and stuff thrown everywhere around the perimeter of the center -- pipes in one corner, edibles in another, clothes here, bud there. There are strange folksy murals of trains and (and one strangely Rockwell-esque samurai) painted on the walls of the squatty brick building. It's clean, but pieced together with a non-flowing hippie vibe. The result is really homey, like the pad of that pot-smoking older Deadhead named Tony who lived across the street from you in college.

You're in the bud bar the minute you walk in the shop, so while the budtender copied my paperwork, I went straight to the goods on the shelves. I started with different phenotypes of Bio Diesel, which was really interesting. After all, the original Sensi Star x Sour Diesel cross Bio Diesel is a clone-only strain from Denver Relief. Apparently, a few years ago, when Healing House was still just a delivery service, there was a harvest that seeded, and several people kept the beans to later flower for other shops. An owner told me over the phone that staffers are testing each pheno to see which ones patients like the best before making final decisions on what to keep.

While the buds on the Healing House shelf didn't exactly resemble the original Bio D, they were all worth checking out. Some had a more fuel-like smell, while others leaned toward the citrusmend of the Sensi Star. For the most part, the buds seemed popcorny, though, so I moved on through the selection.

Notable was a batch of solid Flo with big buds that nailed the distinct turned-soil-and-menthol-eucalyptus-muscle-balm smell. There was also an enticing Durban Poison x Blueberry that smells exactly like it sounds (at least to cannabis nerds), with the fruity, bubblegummy Blueberry hitting your nose first, followed nanoseconds later by the spicy, peppery Durban. Everything is grown with organic nutrients in soil, the owner said.

Also on hand were a plethora of Kush and Kush hybrid genetics: Tahoe OG, Kosher Kush, Raskal OG, White Fire OG (several different phenotypes) and at least two or three more. I opted for the Alien OG, with it's chunky, faintly purple buds the size of duck eggs. The smell is at the level of funky, Super Ball-rubbery, lemon-terpene OG goodness so aromatic that you feel compelled to open and close the jar at least ten times simply to get that popped-tennis-ball-can blast. The Alien was potent as well, with a balanced hybrid effect that started out mellow and heavy between the eyes and then progressed to a buzzy, fresh-from-a-nap energy. Continue for the rest of the review and photos. The Purple Kush was also worth bringing home, with an earthy and strong berry sugariness to the Christmas-tree-shaped buds. My budtender told me it was her favorite indica on the shelf, and its near-narcotic strength provided numbing pain relief for things like sciatica -- something I'm familiar with after being speared in the hip by a fallen tree when snowboarding a few years back. These days, it's just back pain from shoveling snow, but it was a good strain for that as well. In addition to the pain relief, the buds were savory loaded up in a pipe or a vape, with a flowery, distinctly Kushy soil/fuel aftertaste.

I should note that I didn't even make it through half of the herb selection. That would have taken at least a half-hour, and due to an ongoing special, the shop was so busy with people that I wasn't going to force them to wait in line behind me. Too many strains is a good problem to have, so I won't complain except to say that it would be a lot to process if you were a new patient.

Equally overwhelming was the corner-store-sized selection of pre-packaged edibles. Everything was spread out through two or three cabinets in front of the train mural -- both of which I spent very little time admiring. Candies, single-dose bars and drinks were going for $6 to $10 on the low end, with a few candies and teas selling for a few bucks less. Lots of Edi Pure selection as well, most hanging around $12, with a few of the company's double-dose treats selling for double the price. The now-ubiquitous tiny chocolate ware of Dabba and Cheeba Chew continues to rage on at Higher Health as well, though you wouldn't think it by the high prices: $24 apiece for the "deca dose" Chew and 200 mg Daba. Hash and concentrates run $20 to $30 depending on the extraction method. I opted for a $10 half-gram chunk of the house-blend icewater-extracted hash, pressed into sliceable pucks. Very indica-heavy for being a blend, and it put my eyelids down to half-mast within five minutes of burning some crumbles in a bubbler.

The shop has regularly priced $20-$25 strains, but I felt like the bulk of what was on sale normally went for $35-$40 an eighth and double that for a quarter-ounce. Ounces start at $175 and half ounces at $100. Then again, if you're paying full price, you aren't paying attention. The shop seems to always have a deal -- including a spin-a-wheel with different prizes on it for anyone who spends over $43. They also have daily specials like 10 percent off for non-members and an additional 5 percent off with the regular 10 percent member discount.

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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