Medical marijuana dispensary review: Kind Meds in Denver

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My high school didn't have shop class. The only way we could learn about using power tools was through tech theater classes, in which we were used as slave labor to build sets for the plays. That also included painting faux wood finishes that looked great at twenty feet but completely horrid on close inspection. I dredged this memory up the instant I walked into Kind Meds and saw the thick, hand-brushed, brown-red stain on the doors, doorframes and the window molding. From twenty feet away, it probably looks a bit like fancy oak or mahogany . The only problem is you can't get twenty feet away in a dispensary that is only ten feet wide, so instead it looks like cheap birch with a heavy stain.

Kind Meds

260 Santa Fe Drive Denver, CO 80223 720-366-8888 KindMedsColorado.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range: $20/eighth-ounce, $160/ounce. Other types of medicine: BHO, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes, but not updated.. Handicap-accessible? Yes. Recreation sales: No.

Random, I know. And the fact that the dispensary lobby felt like walking into a high school drama squad's production of the new hit musical Inside the Pot Dispensary really didn't have any negative effects on my perception of the place. I just know that there are a few nerd 'techies out there who get exactly where I'm coming from.

Anyway, the shop is in the shadow of the light rail, in a black building with a glaring orange-and-green "Kind Meds" sign above the two white doors. Parking on the street isn't an issue at all, as the storefront to the south of Kind Meds is empty and there's a vacant lot to the north. The place is simple, with a comfy-but-forgotten waiting room with a tatty black leather couch and a well-trafficked rug in the middle. The day I stopped in at least twenty people had already been in, judging by the sign-in sheet ahead of me (a sheet they should get rid of, since leaving it out for anyone to read isn't great for patient privacy and the shop already has a log of who purchased herb that day in its point-of-sale system). A middle-aged woman in a pantsuit who looked like she could have been doing someone's taxes earlier in the day walked out as I was walking in, leaving me to the budtender who waived me back into the bud bar through the security glass.

Online, the shop touts having thirty strains for patients and some reviews even mention the large selection. Maybe I missed the boat on this, but there were no more than seven strains the day I visited. Herb was kept in huge glass apothecary jars probably able to hold a pound or more when full. The jars were stashed on high shelves behind the wood/glass display counters which were used to hold the few edibles, concentrates and assorted pieces of paraphernalia on sale.

Most of the jars were full to the brim, and since I didn't have anyone behind me I was able to make my way through all of the strains. For the most part, everything was general warehouse quality and there was nothing amazing to write home about. But a few strains were worth mentioning, including a batch of spear-shaped Purple Lavender X Diesel that smelled like those relaxing bath oils sold at high-end department stores and looked like a sand-blasted miniature Christmas tree. I also liked the Comandante, a cross of bubblegum and AK-47 that seemed to retain the fruitiness of the bubblegum while gaining the density and slightly tan color of the AK. There was also a very heavy Grape Cough that my budtender tested out at 10 percent CBD. Others missed the mark, like the batch of tiny pea-shooter Blue Dream buds that looked much too dense for the strain and a batch of leafy, stemmy True Blue.

Page down for the rest of the review and photos.

I also wasn't very impressed with the Hashplant I brought home. Yes, it was hashy and left my fingers coated in sticky resin. But it was also stringy and burned harshly and had a faint resemblance to old-school orange "beasters" -- minus the extreme compaction those BC-grown buds were known for. But more important, there was also a faint mildew-like smell to the buds, and I found a few offensive spots on the large bud in the forefront of the photo. Medically, Hashplant doesn't do much for my nausea, but it is a deeply-relaxing strain good for stress and light pain management. This sample hit at about a six out of ten on potency, though I really only smoked on it a few times before setting it aside for some homegrown from a friend. At $20 an eighth for patient pricing, I got what I paid for -- but nobody should be paying for questionably mildew-laden buds. Hashplant aside, I did like the shop's in-house hybrid of Tahoe OG, Bubba '98 and Blueberry dubbed Big Bad Bitch, though it also could have used some more TLC to get it up to mind-blowing status. Nevertheless, the pinecone-shaped, dense buds were covered with a jacket of silver trichomes that seemed to stack on top of each other under a scope. Out of the jar, the buds had a tart earthiness to them, but the aroma was nowhere near as nose-punching strong as I imagine it could be. When ground up, the buds overflowed with a sugary, rubbery funk and left my fingers waxy with resin. The flavor wasn't all there, though I did get some of the hints of grape that Pre-'98 Bubba can have. Medically, the buds were a great mental and physical balance that was soothing for an achy back (I'm quickly learning how heavy a ten-pound baby can really feel) and worked great for getting my appetite up in order to squeeze in a meal between bottle feedings. At $20 for an eighth at patient and first-timer pricing, this was the best buy in the shop. My only gripe was the gram or so of tiny, schwappy buds in my eighth could have been better used to make hash. Once again this week, concentrates just weren't up to snuff. The unlabeled, single-gram jars were filled with a flaky yellow wax that I didn't even bother to have her take out for a closer look. Plainly put: Wax and budder aren't the final stage of extracted hash oils and I have a real hard time justifying the smoking of concentrated waxes that often contain contaminates and rarely burn clean when there's much more pure shatter oil for sale. Icewater hash is my one exception, as the waxy, terpine-goodness of quality bubble hash is hard to beat. Without any of that, however, I left with just the $40 quarter of herb.

Kind Meds is worth checking out again down the line, especially for the Big Bad Bitch. But for the foreseeable future, I'll push it to the far reaches of my memory -- much like nearly every lesson I learned in high school tech theater.

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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