Medical marijuana dispensary review: Rocky Mountain Farmacy on East Colfax

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This dispensary has closed.

Rocky Mountain Farmacy didn't look like anything special. Based on what I thought was the size of the place from the outside, it came across as a weed Walmart. Like they had sixty strains on their shelves and cases full of pipes and accessories, but none of it worth buying.

I like being proven wrong in situations like this, though. And while the shop does have a clean, corporate vibe to the decor and plenty of cheap herb, I also found plenty of things I was happy to take home.

Rocky Mountain Farmacy

Location: 6302 E. Colfax in Denver Hours: Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Phone: 720-389-9002 Website: www.rockymountainfarmacy.com Owner: Michelle Piwonski Opened: January 2011 Raw marijuana price range: $20 eighths to $40 eighths. Other types of medicine: Edibles, minimal hash and kief, tinctures. Handicap accessible? Yes.

Rocky Mountain Farmacy has been open for some time at its Colorado Boulevard locations, but the Colfax store has only been open for about five months, according to the manager who spoke with me. The newness shows in small details, like the unfinished entryway and the sound of sledge hammers busting up concrete in the basement to make room for an in-house grow -- but otherwise, things seem to be in order.

After passing my card and ID through the bulletproof glass window in the entryway to the office, the place opens up to a spacious waiting room decorated in a nondescript, professional way. Aside from the smell of ganja and the framed Bob Marley artwork, the shop doesn't necessarily feel like a pot dispensary. There are some nice touches, like dark wood floors and dark leather lounge chairs -- but otherwise, the owners have left it plain, quiet and simple. There was a TV mounted high on one wall, showing the repeating menu of an Austin Powers flick.

Also on hand: a Taser-armed quasi-cop and a handheld metal-detector wand hanging on the office wall. Now, I understand that security's important on East Colfax, but the wand seemed excessive. I would have walked out if staffers had said they needed to run me through a metal detector before I could be allowed inside.

After snagging one of the ten empty chairs in the waiting room and filling out a couple pages of paperwork provided by the security guard, my budtender, Shannon, offered a greeting and walked me back to the bud bar. Like the waiting room, its decoration was simple, but with nice accents. There's a tapestry hanging along the back wall, but the centerpiece was the custom wood paneling. Dividing the long bar are heavy, K-shaped wood panels stained a dark brown that run from the floor to just above head height. The counter spaces created by the panels produce what looks like different budtender stations but are actually used to split up the herb between indica and sativa, and by price and quality, across all five zones.

The $20 bottom shelf herb caught my eye first. Buying it at $125 an ounce provides an even better deal. The indoor cuts weren't worthwhile, but the greenhouse-grown outdoor strains were intriguing for the price. We don't really have much of an outdoor scene here in Colorado due to our lack of a growing season, so it's cool to see sun-powered herb now and then. A bit stringy, and the colors were duller shades of tan and green than the sparkly and fancy-looking "ultra-premium" strains. All things considered, they weren't that bad and I'm going to resist being a weed snob and hate just because it's not high grade. I actually regret not grabbing any to try out -- and I plan on going back next week to grab an eighth to grind up into joint food.

The manager told me that the shop is going through a transition in growers; she's expecting a new harvest on the shelves by next month. She also said the Farmacy is working on lowering prices even more when they get their harvests timed and eventually hope to have the cheapest herb prices in Denver. I'm all for affordable dispensary herb, especially when the quality range matches the prices.

After geeking out on the outdoor herb, I had Shannon pull out the "ultra-premium," $40-per-eighth jars to compare. I started on the sativa end, eventually choosing between a stinky but shakey jar of Headband, Lemon Skunk and two varieties of Cough: Strawberry and Raspberry. Every jar I put my nose in on the sativa side had a strain-distinct smell to it. Though nothing was in huge, chunky bud form, what I saw was grown well, with a healthy slathering of crystals. The indica and indica-dom strains I checked out were also grown well, though some -- like the awesomely named LA Afghani Woman -- had a dull, uncured smell. One standout was a beautiful Critical Mass with Broncos-orange hairs on top of Rockies-purple popcorn buds. I ended up picking the GDP over the Critical Mass based on stink -- though I'm not sure I made the right call. Hopefully the new grower keeps that one around.

Page down for strain reviews and photos. Raspberry Cough: $40/eighth I haven't had this cut before, so I've got nothing to compare it to aside from the Strawberry Cough. On its own, the fluffy popcorn buds in the jar at the shop had a sweet but musky smell and was fuzzy with tan and amber trichomes. The bud coloring looked like Island Sweet Skunk, with the light green leaves and orange hairs. Broken up, the bud had a rich, berry scent that complimented the spiciness of the Cough. The cut was dried and cured well, breaking up to tiny chunks in my fingers. The herb burned slightly harsh, with a buttery, hazy taste not unlike original Cough. Still, this cut was nowhere near as heavy as Cough usually is. I was able to get a lot of the same stomach motility effects with the Raspberry Cough without drifting off into nap-land an hour into the buzz, like I tend to do with real-deal Cough. Overall, it was well done and I think I've got a good idea of what this strain is like now. Grandaddy Purp (GDP): $40/eighth I've learned that what attracts me most to herb is the smell. Sure, this GDP was a beautiful light green, with kief-covered white Christmas tree tips -- but the sour, dark scent of the buds together in the jar was what sold me. I didn't make it home with much purple, but as a whole, the jar in Rocky Mountain Farmacy had a grape-colored hue. It also had a solid, fresh-turned-soil smell and taste in the bowl and burned clean through the first few hits. The bowl got a bit charcoalish at the end, and the flavor dipped off after the third hit -- but overall, this was a decent example of GDP. Unfortunately, I can't give Rocky Mountain Farmacy the credit, as Shannon told me this was one of the strains they had recently brought in from a wholesaler to keep the shelves full while they transition growers.

William Breathes is the pot pen name for our medical marijuana dispensary critic. See where else he's been and what else he's been puffing on in our Mile Highs and Lows archive.

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