Medical marijuana dispensary review: Natural Remedies in Denver

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Natural Remedies is on the fifth floor of a turn-of-the-century building on Market Street above Sonoda's Sushi. The building has a central staircase and the smell of freshly fried tempura wafts all the way up to the fifth floor, generally overpowering the feint smell of cannabis until you get to the front door of the shop.

Natural Remedies 1620 Market Street #5W 303-953-0884 www.naturalremediesco.com

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Raw marijuana price range: $45/eighth non-members, $30 discount strain of the day. Other types of medicine: Edibles, icewater hash. Handicap accessible? Yes.

I rang the buzzer and was let in by a hippie girl in her early 20s behind a small receptionist desk to my left who handed me over a stack of paperwork to fill out. She was nice, but distracted by videos of Pretty Lights on YouTube she had pulled up to get herself excited for the Pretty Lights show that night at Red Rocks. I scratched out my autograph on the five or six pages of forms, including a HIPPA release, while she geeked out to the wompy electronic music blaring from the computer speakers.

They have done a good job of making the small, simple space feel cozy but not cramped. Dark green paint contrasts the exposed brick walls. I plopped down in one of the black leather chairs around a coffee table covered in magazines and marijuana pamphlets. The patient ahead of me had just signed up as a new member and took his time going through the different strains available to him at a discount that day.

I spent about ten minutes reading through back issues of High Times and looking through the gift shop they have set up just off the waiting room. The shop carries a few local artists work, including the popular "Grown Locally" Colorado flag t-shirts. The kid ahead of me finally finished up and it was my turn to head back.

I got a quick tour of things from Ry Prichard, my budtender and founder of Colorado-based Kind Reviews. I knew that going into the shop though I don't know him personally. We've met briefly in passing, but he had no clue who I was then and nor a few days ago when I was in the shop. I enjoy the Kind Reviews strain reviews and Prichard's beautiful photography of herb, and was looking forward to seeing him in his role as a budtender.

The bud bar is a pretty simple room, with a few more couches for patient waiting with a massive 50-inch flat screen hanging on one wall and huge murals of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley opposite it. The bar itself is a high wooden counter with a rack of sample jars on it for patient to sniff out and look at. Herb to take home is kept in large jars on a shelf behind the bud bar.

Across from the bud stand is a display of edibles from Cheeba Chews, Keef Cola, Dazy's and Mile High Ice Cream. I've had enough edibles lately to put down the Broncos' offensive line, so I spent only a little time looking. But the shop did seem to have a wide range to choose from.

Prichard definitely knows his herb, and was quick to offer detailed descriptions of each strain's medical qualities. He described the high-to-low buzz of the Sour Diesel x Deep Chunk. He talked up very few strains, letting the herb do most of the bragging for itself, including both a hydro and soil version of LA Kush that were nose-ticklingly good. I was also impressed by the fruity Banana Kush, spicy SFV OG Kush, and a Bruce Banner phenotype named for She-Hulk's alter ego, Jennifer Walters.

The shop also specializes in rare, true Afghani-based strains from the mysterious breeder Tierra Rojo. He was recently featured in High Times with his amazing story about bringing back the landrace seeds and breeding them with our crazy western genetics. Natural Remedies only had the Hanis, an Afghani x Pre-98 Bubba/Haze cross. In the sample jar, it had a deep, almost chocolate-like funkiness to it that finished off in a spicy haze.

Natural Remedies also carries hash by master hash maker Selecta Nikka T, who coincidentally was featured last week in our review of The Pearl Co. in Denver. The day I was in, Natural Remedies had two to three different strains of hash in, all separated by filter size. I didn't pick up any hash this week, but everything they had in the shop was as expertly produced as you can expect from Nik. Hash ranged from $30 to $40 for a gram.

Herb is reasonably priced at $45 an eighth, with at least one strain going for $30 an eighth every day. There was also a bowl on the counter of discounted pre-weighed jars of herb formerly used as samples. I had Prichard split an eighth for me of his top two picks, the LA Kush and the Banner pheno.

Reviews and pictures of the meds are on the next page. LA Kush (soil) $45/eighth Prichard said this was his top strain in the shop, and I can understand why. It was a beautiful example with a dense but spongey feel, pinecone-like foxtailing and slathering of amber trichomes. Breaking it open brought out an intense rubbery finish, like sniffing a brand new set of Michelin tires. Small, rust-colored pistils wrapped around the calyxes and under the scope it looked like an alien planet of crytals. The taste came through very well on this cut with a tart, citrusy finish nearly from start to the finish. Almost instant head and upper body relaxation with this cut, though not so strong as to knock me out. Banner #3 The sample jar specimen of this wasn't as impressive as the nugs I brought home, which was a nice surprise when I opened up my jar at my desk. Beautiful tan and orange appearance to this cut at first glance. The trichomes seem to pile up like sand in the crevices of the pine-green bud. It didn't have a strong smell, but it did have a light mint plant freshness when broken up that came through in the menthol-like taste that Banner cuts seem to take on. Dried well and clearly grown right, the herb burned to a fine white ash. This pheno packed a nice punch and left me with an energetic mental buzz and an appetite that seemingly never ended.

William Breathes is the pot pen name for our roving medical marijuana dispensary critic. You can read more from him in our pot blog, Mile Highs and Lows.

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