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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Sailing the sea of green at Mayflower Wellness

This dispensary has closed.

To me, summer is the season of bike rides to Rockies games, barbecues, disc golf, and smoking joints under beautiful Colorado skies. The latter being one of my favorites, I've been looking for new strains to twist up and enjoy, and after checking out Mayflower Wellness's menu online, I hopped on the townie bike and made a pilgrimage from Cap Hill to downtown.

Mayflower Wellness

Location: 1400 Market Street Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Phone: 303-862-4164 Website: www.mayflowerwellness.com Owner: Jason Williams Opened: June 2010 Raw marijuana price range: $10 to $50 member and non-member prices. Other types of medicine: Kief, pressed hash, tinctures, brownies, medicated sodas Handicap accessible? Yes

Owner and grower Jason Williams took ownership of Mayflower last June, buying a dispensary formerly known as the Farmacy from a group of California investors shut out by state regulations. The shop is upstairs from Wild Ivories, a dueling-piano bar I'd have to be severely medicated to visit. That aside, the location's great for downtown dwellers and Auraria campus students.

From the street, it's hard to tell how big Mayflower Wellness is -- and that makes the wide-open expanse of a space seem even larger. The amount of unused wooden floor juxtaposed with the mango-colored paint and large windows warming up the room made it feel like a salsa dance studio. The only thing missing was a fiery Latin woman stomping around to the Gipsy Kings. Williams said they have done yoga and massage therapy in the space in the past, but added that those services are "hit or miss" with clients these days.

Since I was the only person in the shop, I figured I didn't have a reason to go back to the waiting room. I was wrong, and missed what Williams says is one of the highlights of the shop: windows that peep into the grow facility.

There weren't any seats to sit in while filling out forms, so I stood in front of the large receptionist table while the receptionist/budtender copied my paperwork and entered me into their system. There was a sign on the desk saying they no longer took credit cards and giving locations for nearby ATM machines. I don't blame Mayflower Wellness for this decision; apparently, the credit-card processing company dropped the shop for being a medical marijuana dispensary. Still, staffers should take the credit-card stickers off the doors or at least put up a note to help patients out.

The bud bar is across from the receptionist desk, separated from the rest of the massive space by a folding partition screen. Herb is kept in a tall, antique-style counter straight out of a jewelry store, featuring a glass front and top. A matching case next to it holds various paraphernalia and edibles. The herb jars are all labeled with the strain name and a roman numeral that corresponds to a price chart on a large white board behind the counter on an easel. It's not the most slick, professional setup I've seen -- but it's not amateur hour, either.

Mayflower Wellness prices each bud based on it being top or bottom. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, like getting expensive tenderloin over a flank steak from the same cow. But in practice, it created seven different price ranges that were more confusing than helpful. A happy medium would be to use a more standard two-tier pricing system for top and lower shelf strains further broken down by top buds and bottom buds.

Williams says his crops are all grown in an organic soil mix he perfected years ago cultivating outdoors in Alaska. After starting plants indoors, he would transfer them outside for the very short, three-month warm season. The soil mix produced strong yielders outdoors, and Williams said it has worked just as well indoors in his adopted home of Colorado.

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Everything smelled either strain-specific or generically ganja-like out of the jars, with no chemical nastiness or artificial candy sweetness. I mostly stuck to the $40-$47 non-member-priced strains. Everything was about average for a mass-grown stock, but a few things stood out in quality, like the crystal-covered Rambo, spicy Super Lemon Haze and a chunky Blowfish. Mayflower Wellness also carried a few strains I hadn't heard of, such as the Purple Bastard, or strains I had yet to try, like the Cole Train. My budtender was honest about several of the strains not being up to par, including their Vanilla Kush and the leafy, autoflowering Lowryder strain.

The shop had a few pressed hash discs and some kief for sale. But nothing looked mind-blowingly good in the concentrate department, so I ended up with three strains of herb this week to smoke on. All three went straight into king sized Raw papers for testing.

Page down for strain reviews and photos. Rambo: ($47/eighth nonmember) Long, skinny buds fuzzy with orange hairs and glistening with shiny clear trichomes. Likely cut a bit early, but still mature enough to be puffable. Appealing in the shop with a sweet, fruit-punch Kool-Aid smell. The bud dried up after a few days in the little bag they sent me home with, though, losing some of the smell and crisping up the bud to toast crunchiness. Williams suggested this strain for the flavor and the sativa-with-a-touch-of-indica buzz it produces. The buzz I got, but the taste wasn't as strong as I had hoped. It popped and sizzled out the tip of the spliff at first, and burned with a similar sweetness to the first few hits before getting ashy-tasting toward the end. As promised, it had an indica touch to the sativa buzz that kept me mellow and pain-free for a good hour or so, tapering off into sativa-driven pantry-destroying munchies. Purple Bastard: ($40/eighth nonmember) So... I have no idea what this strain is. Williams told me it was a cross of Bubba Kush and Sour Diesel, but that doesn't seem correct. The only info I could track down on it came from a three-year-old forum posting on Cannabis Culture where it was listed as a Black Russian x Double Purple Doja. Whatever it was, it had a hint of Diesel/Kush when broken up but absolutely no purple anywhere on the gram I took home. Very light, Kushy taste through the first half of the joint, but nothing overpowering. The buzz was very stoney, and the spliff ended up putting me down for a nap in the hammock. Cole Train: ($47/eighth nonmember) DNA Genetics brought this gem to life by breeding out a Silver Haze and Trainwreck cross. Fluffy and very light colored, this indica dom looks like it should have a fruity finish but surprised me with a mild haziness over a rich, buttery finish not unlike Trainwreck behind it. Broken up, it nearly mimicked hippie body-odor funk. Like walking through a String Cheese Incident parking lot in mid-August gnarliness. It's crazy how something so gross sounding can be so mouth-watering, isn't it? Very wispy and slightly underdeveloped, it was still a solid strain that packed a punch with flavor to boot. The haze came out the deeper into the joint I went, leaving a musky cloud in my head and my living room. Very hunger-inducing for me, with strong pain numbing effects that held on for a good hour and a half through a meal, when my stomach often gets painful cramps. For my first time smoking this strain, I think I got a pretty good idea of what it is about and I look forward to seeing more of it

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

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