Medical marijuana dispensary review: Infinite Wellness Center in Lakewood

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It didn't hit me until I drove into the cracked-concrete parking lot of the squat, brick building on Kipling that I'd been there before.

Two years ago, actually, when what is now Infinite Wellness was Green Meadows Wellness -- a dumpy shop with a skimpy selection, green kief and mid-grade meds.

Oh, how things have changed.

Infinite Wellness Center

1701 Kipling Street, Suite 104 Lakewood, CO 80214-80215 720-458-0277 InfiniteWellness8.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Raw marijuana price range: $7-$11/gram $20-$35/eighth-ounce, $140-$220/ounce. Members receive 10 percent off purchase. Other types of medicine: Shatter oil, wax, CO2 oil, kief, hash, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

Infinite Wellness took the drab, basement-hangout feel of the old dispensary and made it a roomy pot palace, complete with lime-green walls and shelves stocked with jars of hearty ganja harvest. I walked in and was buzzed through into the shop by an older woman at the receptionist desk who took my information and chatted me up about red-card renewals and a patient rewards program that earns you free ganja over time. Basically, prices on the buds are the same for everyone, but members earn points faster. They also get four-gram "eighths" and deals on edibles and hash through the week.

A little waiting lounge is set up just across from the front desk, with two black leather couches set around a glass coffee table and rug. To quote Walter Sobchack: "That rug really tied the room together." Once the receptionist was done with my card, I was sent over to the bud bar, where my redheaded budtender was waiting for me while another staffer helped out a second patient who'd checked in before I did.

Bud is priced in several tiers, with $20 eighths on the cheap end and $35 on the high end. All of the herb is stacked on the same shelves regardless of the price, though, so if you're price-conscious, you've got to look up and check the neon light boards hanging above the budtender's head. I asked her to stick with the sativa-dominant strains, as I'm not dealing with any pain issues lately and am mostly puffing to keep my appetite up. Jars are labeled with strain names and basic info on whether they were sativa, indica or hybrids. She easily could have just pulled out jars labeled with an "S", but my budtender was really good about talking about the qualities of everything she pulled out and where they fell on the scale between buzzy sativas and heavy indicas.

She started with a mediocre batch of Deadhead OG that didn't have the typical earthy-rubber kush aroma. But my attention was quickly taken by the chunky, frosted buds of Moby Dick in the second jar she pulled out. Then came a freshly cured batch of Jillybean, with a smell that stuck in my nose like a fresh-peeled orange in an office break room. The buds were really foxtailed and wild-looking, but slathered with amber trichomes that gave them a fuzzy appearance. The taste matched the smell in both a vaporizer and a bubbler, both of which I preferred over a regular dry pipe, as the Jillybean burned with an unexpected harshness at times. It was a racy buzz with staying power, giving me a jolt of energy in the morning that didn't taper off into the need for a nap. It also got my stomach moving around in the morning, quickly taking me from zero appetite to a second-helping breakfast. At $35, this batch did a pretty good job representing the top tier of Infinite Wellness. Continue for the rest of the review and photos of the meds. There were about two dozen strains on the shelf, and patients kept piling in behind me, so I only checked out a few more, including a deliciously earthy and hashy-smelling Mob Boss, a hazy Cannalope Haze, small-popcorny Sour Dream with a nose-punch of Diesel and some very photogenic orange, fruity Hawaiian buds. I never give that strain a run anymore, but I regret not bringing home at least a gram to spin up.

I checked out the pre-98, as it was among the lowest-priced strains. But by that time, two more customers had been let in and were milling around the bud bar -- so I pulled the trigger and gave the flowers a whirl. Nowhere near as good as the rest of the bunch, the pre-98 wasn't very kushy at all. While the fat, swollen calxyes were coated in amber trichomes, there weren't any pinecone buds in the bunch, nor could I find a hint of purple or slight wisps of grape-y sugariness. Instead, it was a partially seeded bag of bland herb. But at $20, this was listed as a discount strain, so I guess I can't be that surprised. Broken up, it did get a little sweeter, and it was potent -- just not the most enjoyable pre-98 in town.

Edibles were on the other side of the L-shaped glass display counters, with selections from Cheeba Chews, Edipure, Standing Akimbo, Incredibles, Bhang and Sweet Mary Jane's. Hash was kept to the right of the bud in a separate display case. The center carries all sorts of extracts, from Co2 oils to full-melt bubble hash. But the most popular thing on their shelves were the shatter waxes produced by Caviar Concentrates.

Unfortunately, a third patient had begun haggling with the other budtender over her free eighth she had earned with her points system, so my budtender grabbed the tray of shatter oil for me to select from. There were only a few different strain-specific batches for sale, but all were at $40 a gram, so I went with the Orange Dream because of its root-beer coloring. The chunk I brought home was hard as glass, truly shattering when I cracked off a chunk for the photo. Like a lot of highly processed hash oils I see, this didn't have much of a strain-distinct smell. Instead, it gave off a vaguely hash-like THC odor. Same was true of the taste. This batch wouldn't win any awards for terpine preservation, but it burned very clean and drop-kicked my frontal lobe with just a Tic Tac-sized dab.

By the time I'd made my choice, the cheapskate patient beside me had moved on to complain about the lack of $4 shake joints the dispensary usually has in stock. It was her last four dollars, and she wanted a joint. Stay classy, Lakewood.

But as for the shop, night and day doesn't even begin to describe the welcome transformation of the space. The buds might not be quite connoisseur quality all around, but the selection is infinitely better now at Infinite Wellness than it ever was with Green Meadows.

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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