Medical marijuana dispensary review: Pure Medical Dispensary in north Denver

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It's been almost three years since I checked out Pure's original location, on Bannock just south of the Denver Art Museum. Since then, the shop has expanded to two other locations quietly selling cannabis with what seems like little to no media presence. No cannabis cups and no obnoxious Internet advertising campaigns -- just soil-grown cannabis and fresh-made edibles. And the approach seems to be working.

Pure Medical Dispensary

505 W. 40th Ave. Denver, CO 80216 720-287-4211 puremmj.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Raw marijuana price range for non-members: $10/gram $35/eighth-ounce, $280/ounce. Raw marijuana price range for members: Members receive 20 percent off purchase. Other types of medicine: CO2 oil, dry-ice kief, hash, edibles. Online menu? No. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

The 40th Avenue shop is the newest of the three, serving patients since last November. It's a pretty nondescript warehouse from the outside -- other than the massive two-story Pure sign above the door, that is. Windows down, you can get a pungent whiff from about a half-block away of something not unlike a pissed-off skunk.

Inside the front door is a small, green cube of a waiting room, its low check-in counter opposite the front door. Beyond the glass, a guy in his mid-thirties dressed in jeans and a white lab coat was either intently working on something or really zoning out on the web when I arrived. It took him a few minutes to sort out paperwork while I sat in the room, which was echoing with Tony Orlando tunes. Seriously, Tony Orlando. If your grandmother with glaucoma wouldn't feel comfortable going here, I don't know where else you could send her.

While a lot has changed -- including Pure launching its own edibles and extracts line, dubbed Colorado Cannabis Company -- the new location seems nearly identical to the first one. Same clean, industrial feel, with concrete, unfinished ceilings and simple birch counters. The budtender was also wearing a white lab coat with jeans and looked like she was a grad school biochem student working on a really cool thesis paper.

Bud is displayed right in front of your face under a sneeze guard-like case, each strain labeled in front with its strain, genetic lineage and test results for THC and CBD. The cannabis tests are done through CannLabs and are an average of plants from the entire harvest. So while it's not exact for each bud you're bringing home, you'll still have a good idea of what you're working with. I mentioned back pain I've been dealing with since helping the wife with the vegetable garden last weekend, and my budtender instantly went to the strains with the higher CBD counts.

Nonmembers pay about $10 per-gram after taxes on flowers, with no price breaks for bulk purchases. That means an ounce will run you about $280. Members get 20 percent off, bringing herb down to pretty reasonable prices. The shop also has frequent sales, including a pretty awesome one going on now through the 26th, with $134 ounces and $33 quarter-ounces.

I made my way through about ten of the different types of cannabis, including a cool Bubba Kush/Stevie Wonder cross called Mr. T with speartip buds, a seaweed-green and amber crystal-coated earthy Kong, and a fluffy and potent '91 Chemdawg. The Deadhead OG was the highest CBD plant on display, with an average of nearly 2 percent CBD and around 19 percent THC. It also had one of the most pronounced kush odors of any of the strains when the lid was lifted off the stock jar in the shop. But the smell seemed to dull out over a few days in the tiny jar I brought home.

Page down for the rest of the review and photos. Breaking up the small, dense, amber-crystal-slathered buds brought up some of the rubbery tartness, and packed in a bowl, the buds burned with a light, airy but earthy smoke. The herb otherwise burned clean down to a white ash. Medically, the pain and aching back relief from a few tokes was almost instantly noticeable and lasted for a few hours before I needed a recharge.

Pure's Super Lemon Haze wasn't too musk-hazy in smell, nor did it have the fresh-sliced lemon sharpness. Instead it was like a sweet slice of lemon meringue. The dense buds were covered in tall, skinny trichomes with huge fat heads, like thousands of miniature water towers. It was a mind-racing buzz for the first fifteen minutes or so, then shifted into caffeine-like energy and ravenous appetite.

Hash and edibles are made in-house, with edibles made in the kitchen at the 40th Avenue location and concentrates at the Bannock Street location. Hash selection is all-natural: no chemical extracts on the shelf. But hash heads have plenty to keep them busy. Pure seems to specialize in CO2 oil these days, offering up THC- and CBD-specific versions of the gooey substance.

They also specialize in ice water-extracted hash, including one blend that looked more like dark amber tree sap than hash. I was assured it was pure plant material extracted with water, then whipped into a taffy-like consistency. But to me, the dry ice hash was the standout. It was fairly priced at $20 a gram for the blended, eucalyptus-smelling red powder and it was the perfect edition to bowls and vape loads over the last few days for an extra kick.

I'm usually not big on edibles, but for once they truly did stand out. Part of it was being able to see the actual kitchen through a glass window just beyond the bud counter and knowing everything was fresh, but the food looked amazing behind the glass.

I didn't get any, though -- mostly because my stomach has been shit lately and my wife has me on a strict diet until this spat of morning struggles with nausea and persistent cramping through the day passes. That and pot food doesn't really do much to help my nausea -- mainly because I don't want to eat when I feel pukey.

So, sadly, the s'more cupcake and peanut butter and jelly truffles went un-purchased and I didn't bring home any of the six or seven different cookie styles. But they have been calling me back ever since.

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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