Medical marijuana dispensary review: MMJ America Broadway in Boulder

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'Twas the day before the day before Christmas, and all through my place, not a bowl pack could be found to puff to my face. All the bubblers and bongs had been cleaned up with care, in hopes that I could find something skunky to put in the air.

I woke up all snuggled, warm in my bed: "To Boulder I'll go to find some Lamb's Bread." I jumped in my car and slammed on the gas, headed for MMJ America off Pearl Street to find some green grass.

MMJ America Broadway (Boulder)

1909 Broadway Boulder, CO 80302 303-862-4064 MMJAmerica.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Raw marijuana price range: $5-$10/gram $10-$35/eighth-ounce, $135 to $280/ounce. Nonmembers pay about 10 percent more. Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, edibles, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

MMJ America's Boulder shop is located on Broadway a half-block south of the Pearl Street Mall, close enough to the hive of activity that is the mall to make parking a bitch -- but far enough away that there's still a level of discreetness to the place. The medical dispensary is located in the basement level of the building, though the dispensary's budtenders told me during my visit that they were going to expand into the empty upstairs retail space for recreational sales.

The waiting room was a simple, doctor's office-like affair with a few pot magazines strewn around a coffee table and some low couches and chairs where you could relax while you waited on the person ahead of you to finish up their purchase. Unlike most shops, there's no greeter or receptionist window; instead, you hold your red card and ID up to a small security camera by the locked security door leading back to the bud bar. Someone on the other side then buzzed me back through, speakeasy style, without my ever saying a word.

Inside, two women were busy milling around behind the glass counters, filling up jars with herb and tidying up from the last customer. I mentioned that it was my first time in the shop, and my budtender gave me the thirty-second tour of the dispensary. The small selection of pot-infused candy bars and treats are kept in a glass counter along the south wall; bud is kept in counters along the north wall; and in the middle, the shop has its hash and various paraphernalia for purchase. For the season, the clean, space shop was decorated with Christmas ornaments, and a holiday radio channel was piped in over the stereo, playing old-timey Christmas songs.

I've noticed MMJ America around Denver and Boulder before, though admittedly its uber-corporate and generic-sounding name always was a bit of a turnoff. "MMJ America" sounds like a bunch of stiff suits got together as an investment strategy and came up with the most logical, least-offensive name they could -- therefore, I figured it was the storefront for a warehouse-quality pot factory of machine-trimmed, mid-grade weed. Boy, was I off.

While the spot still still feels a bit corporate-ish and I have no clue if the owners wear suits and Cole-Haans or cutoff jeans and Birkenstocks, the ganja they had on display on their top two shelves was way beyond anything I would have expected from the dispensary. There are three price points at MMJ America, with members paying $10 a gram for the top shelf, $8 a gram on the middle-of-the-road and $5 a gram on their discount offerings. The bottom two tiers also have price breaks at the eighth, quarter and ounce levels, with ounces hovering between $135 and $175 a pop.

Stock jars are kept below in the display cabinet, with a few choice buds thrown into tiny display jars on top of the counter for patients to pick up and check out. There were only three top-shelf strains the day I was in: LSD, Melon Gum and a phenomenal batch of Girl Scout Cookies that seemed to glow when I laid eyes on it. A very pretty flower, the GSC from MMJ America was white with silvery trichomes in the dark green folds of the bud, with blood-red pistils wrapped tightly throughout, giving the bud a sandy, mossy red-stone look. Broken up, it had a brown-sugary sweetness surrounding the skunky fruit-punch aroma that came through nearly perfectly in the flavor when puffed through a pipe or slowly roasted in a vaporizer. A very potent, stoney, euphoric buzz followed that kept me floating all through Christmas dinner with the family. Best of all was the $10/gram price that kept the deservedly top-tier flowers at $35 an eighth for members and just over $11 for non-members.

Page down for the rest of the review and photos.

The buds on the middle shelf were also well done, with some amazing examples of Qrazy Train, Wonder Woman and Tahoe OG that were all worth consideration. I stayed in the OG range, though, and brought home some of the High Times Cannabis Cup-winning Larry OG, as it had the most potent aroma, with a relaxing, rich, rose-like floral puff to the standard rubbery, turned-earth funk of an OG. It was really mellow to smoke, as well, with a heavy head buzz that set in almost immediately and lasted for a good two hours before tapering off and leaving me alert and ready for more. It was also very good for easing stomach cramps, and I was toking a bowl of this within minutes for some relief after overstuffing myself on turkey and stuffing last night. At $17 an eighth for members and just below $20 for non-members, this was a great purchase -- and I would probably be back for more if Boulder wasn't forty minutes away.

I did see a quality drop from the mid-shelf to the lower shelf. Normally unique-smelling buds like the Chem Valley Kush, Cotton Candy and Flo didn't have a very strong odor to them, despite looking healthy and relatively well grown. The shop also had some BHO in stock, though the pre-weighed grams of yellow, flakey Sour Diesel wax just didn't carry a strong enough, strain-distinct smell for me to bring them home at $25 a gram; not a bad price, but I've become obsessively picky about waxes and concentrates lately, and this just didn't make the cut.

Instead, I opted for another mid-shelf selection with a bag of the insanely powerful-smelling Tangerine Dream. The fresh-peeled rotten-orange smell was just too strong to pass up, and the flavor was so spot-on to the smell that it gave me that gross mint/orange taste when brushing my teeth afterward. A ripping-strong sativa, this Tangerine Dream had my appetite up before I could exhale, and packed more energy than a cup of black coffee. Like the Larry OG, at $17 an eighth, this was amazingly priced and well worth my drive from Denver.

Of course, I don't need to drive to Boulder, since the dispensary has two other locations in Denver. And if they all have the same gardens, then I'll no doubt be checking out all of the MMJ America locations in the Mile High in the coming months.

Now there's resin in pipes that were clean as a whistle, as into my lungs smoke flew like a skunky, hazy missile. I'll end this corniness and let you get on with your after-Christmas day, but hope you've got ganja as good as this to twist up and slay.

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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