Medical marijuana dispensary review: People's Choice Wellness Center in Boulder

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People's Choice Wellness Center has a small waiting room up front with an ATM, but I didn't get any time to check it out -- and it's not like it matters much anyway. According to my budtender, the shop isn't going to be sticking around this location much longer. So, really, there's not much of a reason to write about how the whole place felt like an old church compound, private school or possibly a onetime office for state troopers...because you probably won't have to drive down the country road that Baseline becomes just a few miles east of Highway 36 for much longer.

People's Choice Wellness Center

8401 Baseline Rd Boulder, CO 80303 720-366-6615 PeoplesChoiceWellnessCenter.com/

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Raw marijuana price range: 9/gram $31.50-$36.75/eighth-ounce, $150-$210/ounce. Members receive 10 percent off purchase. Other types of medicine: BHO, full-melt hash, edibles, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

Which is a shame, kind of. It's not often you get a nice country drive in the middle of your day, and trekking up from the metro area through the quickly shrinking farmland of Superior reminds you why Denver is still thought of as a cowtown to people outside of Colorado. I also thought the open, bright dispensary space was well done. Solid dark-wood floors go well with the lime-green paint on the walls and custom, anodized-green metal and glass cabinets with steel pot leaves welded to the sides.

But there's a few things I would be glad to see go if this were my regular dispensary -- namely, the odd feeling of walking up to the complex. Like I said, it doesn't feel like a dispensary at all, and I actually drove past the place on my first pass because I thought Siri had taken me on yet another goose chase.

The complex is also home to Growing Kitchen edibles. In fact, most of the property is actually occupied by Growing Kitchen, my budtender told me, including the massive barbed-wire-fenced greenhouse on the other side of the dirt driveway from the compound. Because of that, the place smells like a pot factory, chemical fertilizers and all.

The aroma wasn't anywhere as offensively overwhelming as the smell during my visit to Karmaceuticals the other week. But it was enough to make me question just how clean the medicine that I was going to be smoking this week really was. Thankfully, my budtender said the cannabis for People's Choice is grown elsewhere, in a soil-only indoor garden. And in just a few weeks, the smell (let's hope) won't be a problem at all.

I was the only person in the shop aside from my late-twenties, slightly granola (in that quaintly Boulder way) budtender the day of my visit, leaving me free to browse through the dozen or so jars in stock at my leisure. I started with the Blue Dream at the budtender's suggestion and was sold on the quality lavender-smelling, crystal-slathered nuggets immediately. Most everything in the shop was equally enticing, including a batch of Country Time-smelling Lemonade and a jar of Willie Nelson that would have made the redheaded stranger smile.

A few samples didn't have the looks, including a scraggly Strawberry Cough and wispy White Fire OG. But regardless of their underdeveloped appearance, they both nailed the strain smells, and my budtender assured me they were potent. The shop also sold shake at $6 a gram.

Continue for the rest of the review, including more photos. I could tell the XXX Diesel was some powerful, stinky stuff just by the frosted, ripe green buds filling the stock jar on the countertop. Popping the jar solidified my choice to bring it home, thanks to a ripe, earthy base and lemony-citrus sour tartness that makes my mouth water. Very potent, with a quick blast of THC up front that mellows out into a very well-rounded buzz. Too much left me really soaring for a few minutes, so I opted for small, fresh one-hits out of the bubbler most of the time. I like this strain for getting my appetite up on a Saturday afternoon when I don't have much else to do and can enjoy the ride, but it also worked well in small amounts for a pre-meal boost.

The White was another phenomenal example of cannabis, with thick, round buds crawling with chunky silver trichome crystals coating the calyxes and crispy sugar leaves left behind. Well cured, well dried and well grown, this was a treat to smoke, and I enjoyed every last little nausea-killing bud. Another high-potency strain, the White is a much more mellow choice of a hybrid than the XXX Diesel. Whereas the XXX was energetic and borderline racy, the White was perfect for putting the cap on a rough day and not bad at soothing muscle aches and cramps, either. This was the type of bowl you packed, hit, then realized a half-hour later that you still had half a green bowl left un-smoked in the pipe. I think the drive to People's Choice (whichever location you manage to get to) is worth it for this strain alone.

I completely overlooked the mustard-yellow butane hash the center stocked in favor of the icewater hash. On first glance, it looked like dark, oxidized warehouse-quality hash. But cracking the lid open on one of the tiny jars in the shop let out the most wonderful, strain-distinct smell, and instead of being hard, black rocks, the hash crumbled when touched. At home, it melted down like a crayon on top of the bowl when hit with a flame and burned down perfectly smooth, overwhelming the pipe with flavor. This is perfectly done bubble hash with no frills. It's not shaved down with a food microplaner, it's not crumbled into bits and pieces in a colander; it's just well-made bubble hash. Add to it the $15-a-gram price and I would go back for hash from People's Choice any day of the week.

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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