Timberline Herbal Clinic isn't anything fancy, nor does it pretend to be. It's a working-class shop in a working-class part of town north of I-70 on Colorado Boulevard, where hardworking guys at nearby tire yards and truck-repair shops stop in on their lunch break to pick up edibles for after-work relief.
3995 East 50th Ave (50th Ave & Colorado Blvd) Denver, CO 80216 303-322-0901 www.thc-denver.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Online menu: Yes. Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO, edibles, drinks, tinctures. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
There's no fancy decor inside. The clinic feels like the prefabbed office for a construction site, with a few hand-me-down leather office chairs lined up around paneled walls, gray utilitarian carpet and a coffee table just big enough to hold a stack of magazines. Not grimy or anything like that, just well-used. A few pot posters and framed photographs hang on the walls, and a TV was on the early news, giving the space a casual, kick-your-feet-up living-room vibe. I handed over my paperwork to the woman behind the security window, then snagged a seat and filled out a single piece of paperwork while she copied my stuff.
As part of a pledge to be involved in the community, Timberline Herbal Clinic runs a coat and canned-food drive, and the day I was in, donations were spilling out of the box. Though it may be hard to believe considering our spring-like conditions lately, it's currently winter, and people may eventually need coats if we ever get below fifty degrees during the day. (A change is supposed to be coming later today.) Bringing in a used-but-wearable coat or four non-perishable food items will get you a heavily discounted joint. Owner Eric Eychner said the shop collected more than 300 coats the first month it was open, and he's kept the program going year-round since.
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Eychner and his wife run the shop. And while it would be a stretch to say their place has got that mom-and-pop feel now, I could easily see them being the little elderly couple running the old pot shop around the corner if the whole ganja movement keeps progressing over the next thirty or forty years.
The bud bar in the back is tiny, with hospital-style fabric dividers hanging on tracks behind the bud counter to separate the bar from a back room. Glass and birch-veneered wood display cases are set up in the shape of a 7 along two walls, and edibles fridges take up space on a third, leaving a cozy patient-consultation area big enough for a wheelchair to move around in, but not much more. Roughly a dozen jars with herb were lined up in the large glass case toward the middle of the room, and some ounce bags of strain-specific shake sat off to one side of the counter; they sold for about half the cost of the buds.
Owner Eychner was my budtender, interrupting his microwaved dinner behind the counter to chat me up about the shop's strains while the woman who checked me in grabbed jars and put them out on the counter for me to see. I made my way through a pungent and ripe Summit Sweet Skunk, golden-orange Precious Kush, sweet Snowcap, average-spicy Durban, chunky Bubble Gum. The shop also had a few value strain jars down to the shakey ends selling for $20 an eighth. Currently, the more-haze-than-tangerine Tangerine Haze is listed in the discount slot. One strain I overlooked was the Blue Dream, a shop specialty. Eychner said Timberline plans to enter it in the upcoming High Times Cannabis Cup, tentatively scheduled for April. He added that the shop mostly runs its grow in organic soil, with a few plants grown hydroponically.
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For those of you who are into such things, the shop also carries a few different strains of caviar that made me stoned just looking at them. Nothing outrageous -- just your normal mid-grade buds dipped in oil and then rolled in kief. The center also carries edibles from Bakked and Dr. J's, plus stoney sodas from Dixie and Keef in the two fridges opposite the bud bar. Tinctures sell for around $30 for a roughly four-ounce dropper bottle. There's even a selection of glass pipes for as cheap as $10.
Behind the counter, the shop has a small grow light and a few plants going. I didn't get a look at any of them up close, so I can't really speak to their quality. But what I could see had healthy-looking vegetation all around. If you'd rather start from scratch, the shop also sells seeds. Compared to most shops, Timberline had a pretty good range of genetics from T.H. Seeds, some TGA seeds and a few cheaper beans from their own garden that sold for $5 each. It's always refreshing to see a dispensary helping patients grow for themselves, as well as providing them a place to get meds in the interim. That speaks to the neighborhood vibe of Timberline Herbal.
Not everything I saw on their shelves caught my eye, but the shop isn't geared toward pot nerds like me who want the most exotic and fully developed flavors from every strain. As Eychner said, the clinic's customers include a lot of regular folks who just want well-grown, clean meds at a good price -- all of which THC has. Page down to see what strains William Breathes took home this week. Chem Jones: $36/eighth Very light, airy soil smell to this, as if someone were to make a Sour Diesel dryer sheet. (Side note: Someone please make Sour Diesel dryer sheets.) Money-green sugar leaves surrounded chunky, dense calyxes that gave off a sweet caramel aroma broken up. Most everything was coated in slender trichomes with comparatively large heads that looked like hundreds of thousands of small lollipops under a scope. Nothing overpowering about the smell or taste, but the herb did have a detectible sweet piney/earthy finish through most of the bowl. Medicine-wise, this was a very speedy and racy, ADD-like strain that...oh, look, a bird!...made it hard to concentrate. It did give me a huge appetite that...what do I want for dinner?...more than made up for the lack of focus. Found out only later that this was from another shop, but still worth checking out for the price. Snow Cap: $36/eighth I've been wanting something sweet lately, and this Snowcap could have given me a cavity with the sugary goodness coming out of the jar in the shop. Medium density to the tightly wound sugar leaves, calyxes and orange pistils of the single nugget I took home. Breaking it open left a powdered-sugar-like dusting on my desk and released a surprising fennel smell that came through in the flavor of the first hit out of a clean bowl. Otherwise, the sample burned with a pleasantly rich and full skunkiness that lingered around the office like the fog after a hippie concert at the Fillmore. Mellow, relaxing and not at all speedy like I had hoped from this sugary strain: It was great for any lingering body pain, but didn't lock me into another night on the Laz-E-Boy, so that I woke up with Cheetos stuck to my beard and infomercials on the television.
William Breathes is the pot pen name for Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic. New reviews drop every Thursday at 4:20 p.m. right here on the Latest Word. Check out past reviews in our archive, Mile Highs and Lows.