Last year, MariTrust got called out by Kind Reviews for selling spider mite-infested herb. I'm glad to say I didn't find any bugs when I recently checked out its herb; the shop seems to be selling clean meds. That doesn't mean I'll hurry back, but at least customers can be reassured they aren't smoking spider skeletons.
Location: 4662 Glencoe St. in Denver Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. Website: www.maritrust.com Phone: 303-321-3555 Owner: Ryan Gilbert Raw marijuana price range: $42 an eighth for nonmembers, $200 ounces. Other types of medicine: hash, BHO, scarce edibles. Handicap accessible? Yes
The shop is in an industrial park, surrounded by canyons of big rigs backed up to warehouses. Parking wasn't an issue, mostly since there are no other retail businesses to speak of on the block -- and also because nobody was in the shop the day I stopped by. With the shades drawn, it was hard to see my way around the purple-and-green lobby at first, and when my budtender came out from an even more cave-like side office to greet me with bleary eyes, I felt like I possibly interrupted a siesta. It took him a few seconds to copy my paperwork before he led me into the back toward the bud bar.
Someone tried to decorate MariTrust tastefully, with inexpensive but nice bamboo flooring throughout, and a pleasant, neutral paint theme of tans and greens (not including the purple front office). No original artwork or anything memorable on the walls to speak of, just a few Full Spectrum reports thrown up on the walls. There was a door labeled for employee access only that was wide open the day I was in, giving me a glimpse (and smell) of the brightly-lit warehouse in the back. There's really not much to make the place stand out from any other shop on the surface, and it could easily be the front office for a car repair shop, especially since it's near actual car repair shops. That commercial feeling in the decoration and design carries through to their herb, which wasn't bad, but was nowhere near connoisseur levels.
The bud bar is in a separate room in the back of the shop in a little brown space with two glass counters, one filled with herb and the other with Silver Surfer vaporizers and Incredibowl pipes. I know I'm bad about skipping over edible sections in my reviews, but MariTrust made it easy on me by only offering a handful of Simply Pure bars and some pink rock candies. The budtender said that they just don't see the demand for edibles, which are more likely to spoil on the shelves than get someone medicated. For concentrates, MariTrust had a few different shades of tan bubble hash in jars on the shelves with the buds and little $7 half-grams of darker brown hash in grab-and-go baggies on the edibles counter. The shop also makes its own BHO, and had half-grams in plastic pill cases on the counter-top.
The bud was in resin-coated jars in the glass case below, making it hard to see the quality of the herb without actually digging into each jar. The budtender went straight for his favorites, Green Crack and the Island Sweet Skunk -- incidentally one of the strains that Kind Reviews found spider mites living in a few months back. I had him pull up some of the indica-strong strains as well, including one more dense strain simply called Kush, which had an unappealing and unnatural rubbery kush funk to it. I also smelled the bittersweet Master Kush that got called out for bug issues a while back. This round wasn't too bad, but it didn't catch my eye enough to make me take some home. There were also a few stringier strains, like the Pink Pez and a Chem pheno that was down to the shake.
My budtender gave me his picks and we chatted for a bit about different strains we had seen around town lately. He was a nice guy who clearly enjoyed what he was doing and what he was working with. But unfortunately, you can only talk up your strains so much before you have to let them sell themselves. For the most part, everything was mid-range, and it carried what is pretty much a mid-range price of $37 for members and $42 for nonmembers. The best deal, though, is to go bulk and get one of the $200 mix-and-match ounces, dropping your price to $25 an eighth.
Page down for medicine reviews and pictures. Green Crack Breezy grape smell to this cut in the jar; it turned into a more generalized hydro-esque sweetness when broken up in my fingers. Purple streaks through the green sugar leaves on this cut gave it a dark appearance, and depending on what side of the nugget I looked at under a scope, it had light to amber trichome coverage. There were a few white spots on the bud that I first thought was powdery mildew (you can see one spot in the bud on the left), but Ry Prichard from Kind Reviews, who also grabbed a sample of this herb and scoped it, assured me that it's a function of seed production and not powdery mildew. I wasn't expecting a Cannabis Cup winner, but the herb was dried well for what it was and burned smooth in the bubbler and in a joint with a sugary, nondescript herb smell -- like walking through Red Rocks before a concert. Island Sweet Skunk I grabbed this strain because it was the only one I could remember for sure that the shop had issues with in the past. While the sample I brought home didn't have any bugs, I can't say it was free of issues. The stringy, lanky calyxes broke off the dry nug easily and it didn't have any of the Island Sweet Skunk skunkiness or sweetness. Instead, the herb had an old-sponge dankness (not the good dankness) to it. Only when I broke up the herb and released some of the inner smell did I get any of the musky, skunky, earthy funk I hope to get from ISS. There was good trichome coverage, but the bud burned harshly from the first hit through the last. The ISS smell came through when smoked, though, leaving me with a mild buzz for an hour or so. Pink Pez Wax When your garden gives you middies, make BHO. That's beginning to seem like the mantra of Front Range dispensaries. I don't mind it, because I love me some errl rips and getting my head nice and tight. But it has to be done right and purged well. From what I saw, the wax at MariTrust fit the bill, forming dry, sand-colored pellets that smelled like the generically sweet Green Crack flowers. The wax burned pretty clean overall in an oil bubbler, leaving just a bit of residue behind on a quartz nail and some pilsner-colored residue on the downstem. Very cottonmouth inducing for oil, and it left me hungry as a hostage within ten minutes. Not much on the pain-relief side, but mentally it was a rocker and I woke up to dabs of it on 4/20.
William Breathes is the pot pen name of our medical marijuana dispensary reviewer. Be sure to check out our archive of Mile Highs and Lows medical marijuana dispensary reviews.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.