Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Medijuana Center in Denver

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This dispensary has closed.

Though the logo for the Medijuana Center -- a Colorado license plate likeness with TMC branded on it -- hasn't changed in the year-plus I've been passing by it on my way home from the Westword offices, the management apparently has.

The Medijuana Center 105 E. 7th Ave Denver, CO 80203 720-328-4730 http://themedijuanacenter.wordpress.com

Hours: 10 a.m to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Raw marijuana prices: $25 to $29 per eighth. Members capped at $19 eithths. Online menu: Yes, but hard to tell when last updated. Other types of medicine: Kief, vendor hash, vendor edibles. Handicap accessible? Yes.

Within the last six months or so, the shop has come under the same management as La Conte's Clone bar, a discount shop that actually had some good herb for the price and extremely friendly service when we visited them last winter. A manager I spoke with after my visit said the La Conte's crew took over TMC with the same approach: passing on the bulk growing prices to customers while providing better-than-bulk-quality ganja. That move translated to a newer price structure for TMC patients that starts at $25 an eighth and is capped at roughly $36 with tax.

The change in management also brought on a change in layout for the dispensary. Though most shops are tied up with city and state regulations that prevent them from doing any big renovations, TMC had enough room to simply shift things around to make the bud bar more accessible. As I said, I wasn't in before this visit, but pictures on Facebook show the transformation. Now the waiting area is in the small entry way off Seventh Avenue and the bud bar is the main feature of the shop.

A long row of glass counters is set up in front of a bad-ass graph mural incorporating the TMC initials in dark purples and blues across the entire wall. It definitely adds to the more urban feel, and according to my budtender, the staffers like it that way: "It doesn't have that medical-office feel, you know?" Yeah, dude, I do. And it's cool with me, though it's probably not the type of spot that a grandma with glaucoma would search out. Or shit, maybe she would. Maybe you have a bad-ass grandmother who's into hip-hop culture and puffing tough.

I digress. I walked in during a lull in the shop, just as another patient was paying for her half-ounce purchase and the two employees on hand looked like they were sitting down to take a long-awaited break. Still, the budtender, a guy about my age (thirtyish) named Conal, greeted me warmly and with a wisecrack about my timing. He ended up being one of the more notable budtenders I've hung around lately, with a good sense of humor and plenty of knowledge about the strains he was carrying.

He gave me a brief tour of the shop, starting with the jars of bud shake and trim selling appropriately at around $70 an ounce. This wasn't anything worth smoking, in my book, but worthwhile if you're the type of person who likes making his own ganja edibles from scratch. It also has a cool apothecary vibe going for it, emphasizing the notion that every single part of this plant can be used. A manager I spoke with after my visit said the trim sales have been a big hit with customers. He has one cancer patient in particular who comes in and buys it just to make treats. He notes that it's a much better deal than spending $5 to $10 for one or two brownies from an edibles company.

At the other end of the glass counters were jars of actual buds. First one to catch my eye was a chunky, foxtailed Pineapple Express cut. It was grown, timed and trimmed well from the look of it, but the buds were more on the moist side than I'd like to see. The result was a rush of warm, wet, stale air when I cracked the jar lid, which did nothing for the bag appeal.

Same was true of most of the jars, several of which I recall having humidifying packets inside of them. A small shake of the jar and a few seconds uncorked brought most of the buds back to their strain-specific smell -- but some, like the OG x Bubba, still didn't seem salvageable in the smell department. I also passed over a mediocre Jedi Deathstar that lacked any distinct strain smell from my brief encounter with it.

Herb is broken down into three price ranges, with the low end selling for $25 and the "private reserve" cuts selling for just over $35 with taxes. First-time patients get any strain for $20, so I went straight for the top two in the house: Tangerine and Banana Kush. Also worth mentioning was an army-green cut of sativa-lanky Lambs Bread. The buds were down to the shakey bottom pieces, but it had a crazy sugary sweetness, like a freshly baked batch of snickerdoodle cookies. Maybe not worth picking up this harvest, but I'd be curious to see what the next one brings.

The shop also carries strain-specific kief from its grow, as well as pre-weighed half grams of solvent-extracted waxes and oils from a few third-party vendors. TMC was running a buy-one-get-one special for $35 that made the price worthwhile. Otherwise, a gram sells for $50. Hopefully they keep the BOGO going indefinitely, because $35 a gram is a damn good price.

I walked out spending just under $60 for a split eighth, a gram of wax and a good vibe about the Medijuana Center.

**Note: This article originally mis-quoted the price on a gram of hash, as well as misnamed one of the strains. It has since been corrected to show that a gram of hash sells for $50/gram and that the strain was Tangerine.

Page down for pictures and reviews on what Will brought home this week. My apologies about both concentrate pictures. I accidentally deleted the photos from my camera before I could transfer them. What you see here is what I was left with this morning.

Tangerine: $30/eighth Ah, Tangerine. When you are done well, you are a treat for the olfactory glands of even the most undiscerning cannabis smoker. Seriously, even my non-toking wife, who thinks all marijuana smells the same, can pick out the Cutie-like hues. It's a relatively local strain, with Colorado origins stemming from a group of growers up in Fort Collins who reportedly cultivated and spread the infamous Ft. Collins Cough. This clone-only cut is known for the tastebud-confusing orange flavor and amazing smell the nug produces both as a dried flower and when smoked. The Medijuana Center had the real-deal cut, and opening the jar smelled like opening a gallon of orange juice. Very pretty coloration on the buds, with some light purple in the folds of the calyxes, light-green sugar leaves left behind and appropriately orange hairs weaving throughout. More citrousy goodness for the nose when broken up, and a wonderfully sweet and tart flavor through the first two hits or so before it curved off to a more generic fruity aftertaste. Overall, it wasn't a bad sample for a warehouse grow. I wouldn't put it against Tange from the basement of some of my good buddies, but compared to other questionable samples I've seen in shops, it was a good buy. Banana Kush: $30/eighth Continuing my fruit-flavored purchases this week was a potent batch of Banana Kush. In the shop, the humidipacks and warm jars took away from the smell that usually accompanies this strain -- but a frosty, almost blue tint to the dusting of trichomes sold me. This and the Tangerine were the shop's two top-tier strains the day I visited, and both were noticeably better than the otherwise fair-quality buds on hand. Very pretty structure to the buds, though most of what I brought home had been chopped into oddly shaped nuglets. Yes, nuglets. Feel free to use that word in your daily conversation. Broken up, they had faint notes of the banana scent (and some say flavor) that can be nearly as pronounced as solid Tange can. The Banana Kush from TMC didn't have much to offer in either category when burned out of the bubbler, but the buds I burned in a dry tasting spoon had a more generalized fruit-smoothie thing going. Both bowls burned down to a medium gray ash with the added moisture, but the potency made up for the deficiencies in aesthetics. I was left with a drowsy, foggy head and a creeping relaxation across the body each time I puffed a considerable amount of my half-eighth. Gold Dust: $35 per 1/2 gram (made by Project Greenergy) Last month, we featured Project Greenergy in our high-CBD post for pain-relieving capsules of medicated coconut oil. The Project Greenergy shop didn't have any concentrates when I visited them up in Boulder, so it was good to see some of their actual smokeables, even if they were at a different shop. Though I didn't get anyone from Greenery on the phone about this, their Gold Dust looks like well-purged shatter BHO I've seen other shops pulling off. Pretty color, but not much of a smell beyond a mixed kief richness to the tiny, boogery crumbs. They didn't heat up well enough in the palm of my hand to roll into a larger, more dab-able chunk for a hash pipe, so I smoked a lot of this capped on top of bowls through the week. I finally figured out that I could heat up my titanium dabber and dip it in the hash, pulling up what looked like a stick of hash-oil rock candy. Dabbed on a quartz nail, the hash vaporized with a surprising cleanness to the taste. Worth it for at least a try while it's on sale for $35 a gram, though not so much at full price ($70). Panama Punch Wax: $35 for 1/2 gram (made by The Lab/The Clinic) The hash was a brown moon rock, or chunk of cheese that is well past the point of consuming. Both comparisons probably sound really fucked up to those few of you who don't smoke herb, and who have made it this far in the review. But let me assure you, that's not the case. This chunk of wax burned clean and just a small dibby (yet another word for you to add to your pot lexicon) did as much as a an entire King Size RAW paper full of Panama Punch flowers could. Amazing fruity taste on the exhale and a wicked-strong head rush of THC that lasted a good 45 minutes or so before bringing down what was still a pretty high orbit above the earth. Glad to see TMC carrying quality third-party stuff like this. Let's just hope they keep the pricing down, or otherwise you're better off going straight to the source for this wax.

**Note: The expiration date originally noted in the write-up of the Panama Punch wax was mislabeled. The wax expires in October 2013.

William Breathes is the pot pen name for our wandering medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews on our Mile Highs and Lows blog and catch up on all your pot news over at The Latest Word.

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