Mile High Dispensary was a random stop. I had driven down to Littleton only to find I had the wrong address for another club. Frustrated at my stoner-moment, I made my way back north up Broadway through Englewood and turned in.
Mile High Dispensary -- Englewood
Location: 3751 South Broadway in Englewood. Second location at 1350 S. Sheridan Street in Denver. Phone: 303-762-6337 Website: http://milehighmedicalmarijuana.com/ Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Owner's representative: Victor (did not give his last name). Opened: July 4, 2009. Raw marijuana price range: $35/eighth Other types of medicine: Edibles, hash. Handicap accessible?: Yes.
Mile High Dispensary operates out of a simple storefront in a strip center off South Broadway, next to a head shop and across from a Volkswagen bus crammed with old beetles and hippie vans. But the vibe MHD gives off isn't heady. There's no flashing neon pot leaves, and aside from the steel bars behind the glass windows and the word "dispensary" in their name, it could be just another business you drive past and never give a second thought. An owner I spoke with, Victor, said they like it that way. "I'm not out to upset my community," he said. "This is a nice area."
I was buzzed through a security door to a woman behind a large, low secretary desk half paying attention to the 24-hour-news station on the small flatscreen hung high on the wall. And as random as my stop was, I still managed to run into someone I recognized in retrospect: Tuyet Nguyen, a former Westword contributor and college colleague of mine. I have no idea if she knows who I am, or who Will Breathes is, for that matter. But neither of us made the connection in the shop, although we both did a double take. Then I handed over my ID and paperwork for a quick copy before making my way through the door to where the meds were.
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Over the last year, I have become used to large dispensary rooms with long, open bud bars. Not here. Instead, it was a skinny room painted blue with clouds everywhere. To the left was a bulletproof window and a lone budtender on the other side. The room had a cigarette funk to it, which Victor said was from their smokes-hop neighbor; they've mentioned the aroma to their landlord. Victor also said the smoke shop complains about the smell of fresh ganja wafting the other way -- but I doubt the smell of marijuana is really deterring bong sales.
The budtender was a tall, friendly guy who showed me what all they had in stock -- which wasn't much. On the counter, but on the other side of the glass, were six small jars with samples of herb. When I asked to see a strain, the budtender would pass the jar through the small hole at the bottom of the glass. It was a Sunday, and as the budtender explained, they bring in herb twice a week and when it runs out, it runs out. From what Vincent said, they have two warehouse-size hydro sea-of-green setups going and are pulling down crops every week. He says they run clone-only from a garden of about twenty mothers. As of now, the herb sells for $35 an eighth across the board, or $10 per-gram if you want to break up strains. Victor said nonmember prices were going up to $45 soon, but he wasn't sure when.
Mile High Dispensary doesn't sell just a gram of herb, nor do they sell pre-rolleds. "There is a thin line between dope pushing and medicine," said Victor. "Sure, there is money to be made there, but we aren't going to encourage people coming in and buying a joint and then they go to their car and smoke it ... That is a quick high. You can't just go get one Oxycontin from a pharmacy."
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I sniffed my way through all of the jars and ended up taking home a gram each of the three best-looking strains. The shop also had a lot of sweet edibles, like Cheeba Chews, lollipops and honey hash sticks, as well as a fridge full of brownies and cupcakes. Not much of a concentrate section, but there were $20 grams of blended bubble hash. The budtender weighed everything out well over a gram for me, and separated the buds from the larger stems -- something I'm still trying to figure out if I like or not. On one hand, it's nothing I would smoke or care to have, but on the other, my buds are getting manhandled. My herb bagged up, I thanked the budtender and quickly made my past the reception desk to my car.
Page down for strain reviews and pictures.
Mississippi Skunk$35/3.5 grams The budtender didn't have much info on this fluffy strain other than to say it acted like a strong indica and wasn't a daytime smoke. Long and dense fox-tailed calyxes fought for space in the buds I was given -- both pulled off of a larger stem before being weighed out. Despite being dried well, there was no skunk smell (or Mississippi smell, which smells like the Gulf and barbecue). Crunched up in the palm of my hand, the bud left a sticky coating of crystals on my fingertips and a brief lemon-skunk smell in the air. Clean herb, with no signs of anything gross on the plant matter. It burned down to a clean ash with a sweet ganja taste that reminded me of good outdoor Texas herb from my friend's Aunt back when I was a kid. A heavy-head kind of high, it relaxed neck tension for a good hour or so but also worked well at settling an upset stomach. Easily worth the $35 per-eight price tag. K2$35/3.5 grams An indica-heavy hybrid more than what I would call a sativa. Nonetheless, the K2 was the better of the three "sativa" strains the budtender showed me. Out of the bag, there wasn't much of a smell to the small, popcorrny nuggets that the budtender had handpicked off the stick. A bit of crushing brought out an oddly Mr. Bubble-like artificial fruitiness. The K2 burned harsh out of the bubbler and had a bit of crackling and popping in a small joint. Dull, chary aftertaste with this cut, but it medicated quickly, producing heavy eyes and heavy stoneyness. Good for relaxing after a long day of snowboarding or while watching the snow fall during this week's blizzard while listening to old Metallica albums. In all, the herb was about what you would expect for the $35 price tag. Sour Flo$35/3.5 grams This cut suffered from some bag burn after being squished down due to the triple-sealed bag maneuver. The herb fluffed out a little in a jar at home, but overall kept the flatly squished sides until put into a grinder. The buds I took home looked several days underdeveloped, with mostly white trichomes and lots of hairs and fan leaves. It also could have been that because it was Sunday, the jars were picked over and I was left with bottom bunk. Still, it had a pineapple freshness when broken down into bowl food and burned with a similar Sweet-Tart taste. I puffed this one in the morning as a pick-me-up and a way to get my morning appetite going. The buzz pretty much faded out after I finished my eggs and bacon, though -- good for some days, not good for days when you want to remain lit until lunch. Blended bubble hash $20/gram At first I was thinking I should have spent my $20 on herb, as I didn't get to see the chocolate-cake-looking chunk before I bought it. I was happily wrong. The blended hash was crumbly, but still moist and had a fresh lemon and slight rubber chemdawg smell. On a bowl, it wasn't melty, though it did sizzle. I really liked dabbing it onto a hot paddle swing to get the full flavor, which matched the citrus house cleaner smell. Roughly an eighth of a gram was enough to make the Sour Flo go from an every-hour smoker to a meal-to-meal occurrence.
William Breathes is the pot pen name of our medical marijuana dispensary reviewer. Read the William Breathes bio here and be sure to check out our archive of Mile Highs and Lows medical marijuana dispensary reviews.