Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Cannasseur in Highland

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This dispensary has closed.

I met Cannasseur manager Matt Berger briefly a few months ago at a party, which would normally put a shop out of the running for a review, since I try and keep it anonymous. But after seeing the level of chronic coming out of their store, it seemed wrong not to tell folks about this place.

The Cannasseur Location: 4345 Tennyson St. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone: 303-564-1420 Website: www.thecannasseurdispensary.com Opened: January 2009 Raw marijuana price range: $40-$45/eighth for members, $20/$60 for non-members. Other types of medicine: Bubble hash, BHO, assorted candy edibles, sodas. Handicap accessible? Yes.

My first taste of what was coming out of the Cannasseur was at the High Times Cannabis Cup, where the shop had set up a mock first-class lounge of a private jet complete with flight attendants packing bongloads of the dispensary's latest strain, Kurple Fantasy. I only got a small sample out of dirty water that day, but it was one of the best-tasting of the entire convention.

Berger is also known as "the guy who discovered the original OG Kush." That's a pretty huge claim to make, but Berger sticks to his story -- a wild tale about an errant Northern Lights bean found by a bodyguard for Cypress Hill. Berger has gone so far as to document the story on video. Many people, including me, have little doubt about his claim given the level of detail and the various people who have backed it up (including the guys from Cypress Hill). And even if the truth has been embroidered, the guy clearly knows not only his ganja growing, but also his ganja history.

When I ran into Berger briefly at a shindig back in April, he was really passionate about discussing herb, and the cuts of his namesake Bubba Kush on hand were phenomenal. I figured they were from his personal garden or represented the best of the Cannasseur garden rather than the overall quality of stuff he sold. I was wrong, though -- and since then, I've swung by the shop twice to pick up chronic for my head.

The Cannasseur is on Tennyson in Highland, near at least two other medical marijuana dispensaries. By comparison to them, his center is extremely low-key from the outside and blends in more with the houses to the south and in the surrounding neighborhood. Parking in the alley keeps things more discreet than parking on the street, though there were plenty of spots in both areas. A younger dude took my card through the bulletproof glass in the enclosed front porch, and I was through the front door to the tiny former house.

The clinic is so small that a pirouette provides pretty much a full tour. There's a tiny waiting room off to the right when you walk in, but otherwise, the walls have been blown out to create one giant room. A large glass desk and the "office" of the clinic takes up much of the space to the left. The house's former kitchen has been transformed to the bud bar, with tall Mason jars of chronic on top for patients to drool over. There's also a fish tank,a few vintage High Times magazines in an inlaid shelf, and mellow-yellow walls with white trim that lighten up the heavy, dark-wood floors. Also on view on the left side of the bud bar: a small display fridge with a few edibles and jars full of bubble hash and BHO. The shop was slightly cluttered, but overall very clean and welcoming.

On my last visit, I saw how the crew worked with other patients, as two older men came in after me for their meds. The first, a burly biker dude, turned to me and simply said, "Best stuff in town right here" before going straight for the OG 18. The second guy got more help from the budtender, asking for suggestions on sativa-heavy strains in stock.

Cannasseur is a boutique shop, in that it carries a limited line of genetics at any given time. The short menu of options is no deterrent, though, as each of the jars was filled with stinky sativa and sticky indicas. My first trip in, the shop overflowed with Bubba Kush, several Chemdawg variations and a stinky and delicious Jack Flash. The shop also had strong representations of various OG cuts, including Berger's own Bubba Kush, OG 18 and Mandarin Kush.

My budtender was the same guy who took my paperwork (though Berger also doubles as a 'tender now and then). He knew a lot of background on the strains, and pretty much let me have at it with the jars instead of pushing any one product on me. Everything I saw and smelled, I wanted to bring home. Beyond that, there were no bad cuts or sub-par buds in the jars, suggesting that every customer gets the same level of quality as the stuff in the grower's head stash. That's a good thing when your grower is a weed snob.

My only gripe about the Cannasseur is the herb pricing for non-members. Their other offerings, like the hash and BHO, were appropriately priced, but spending $60 on an eighth for a non-member is pretty tough these days, especially with prices dropping to the mid-$40 range at other top-notch shops I've been in. Signing up Cannasseur as your caregiver does drop the price to a very reasonable $45, though, and I wouldn't have a problem having them grow for me.

Page down to see what's in William's jars this week.

Kurple Fantasy: $60/eighth If the color purple ever had a distinct smell, this would be it. A dark, almost sour-grape tartness, it was deeply stinky with rubbery kush goodness. This cut was as good if not better than the batch I saw back in April at the High Times cup. Dark green sugar leaves and calyxes faded from dark green to purple, though it was hard to see underneath the solid, sugary-cereal look of the trichomes. The bud kept it's potent smell through the week, stinking up my office every time I opened the jar to pack a bowl. And a bowl was all I needed with this deeply soothing and mellowing indica dom strain, though I often packed two for the rich, earthy taste and fruity grape finish. Very strong THC buzz that mellowed out into a pain-relieving, day-ending buzz that would be great for unwinding stress, soothing sore muscles or simply getting ripped and staring at paint dry. One of the more unique and tasty strains I've had in a while; I've been back twice for this cut in a month. Headband: $60/eighth Out of the jar, this cut was funky, rubbery and tart like a pair of George Clinton's brand new Nikes dipped in sour Skittles. The chunky and oddly shaped buds were all over the place with lime green calyxes and burned orange hairs, and the cut was coated in nothing but fine amber and white trichomes. Broken up in my hand, it had a citrus sharpness to it, and the sticky resin it left on my fingers was thick enough to smudge on the clear glass side of my bubbler. My non-puffing, conservative father, who knows nothing about pot, was in town over the weekend, and even he said the bud looked good -- or at least "better than the shit they had back in college." This effect was very uplifting and cerebral, and whether it was the chemical balance or the mouthwatering taste when grown right, it did wonders for my appetite.

Various BHO: $50 gram I've bought several different blended BHO oils from Cannasseur over the course of my visits. Every time, the flavor is crisp and butane-free, though some waxes tend to be more peanut butter-like, while others were the more common, crumbly wax. I regret not getting any pictures of the stuff, but I changed a few people's minds about BHO with it. One was a guy I met in the parking lot of Red Rocks, who told me that he only liked CO2 oil until I dabbed him up a hit before the show. Medically, all oils were über-potent with THC and made for a borderline psychedelic experience at times. With the quality of the buds and the oils, however, I think the results would be better if done strain specific and not in blends. My bad on the lack of a picture, but I was just too busy smoking.

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

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