Medical marijuana dispensary review: Trenchtown MMC in Lakewood

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One good thing about herb is that when it hits you, you feel no pain.

Unless, of course, you're smoking some pretty poorly grown weed -- in which case you may get a scratchy throat or headache.

If that has been the case for you lately, maybe rockin' over to Trenchtown Medical Marijuana Center this week would be a good idea, mon.

Trenchtown Medical Marijuana Center

734 Sheridan Blvd. Denver, CO 80214 (303) 495-3531 TrenchtownMMJ.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. Raw marijuana price range: $7.25/gram $25/eighth-ounce, $150/ounce. Members receive discounts at the half-ounce level as well as discounted edibles and concentrates. Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, edibles, tinctures, lotions, drinks. Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.

We first checked out Trenchtown back in October of 2011, just as the shop was going through some issues with the City of Denver over the entrance to their dispensary. The center was also between harvests and heavily reliant on herb purchased wholesale from other dispensaries. What was on the shelf at the time wasn't necessarily worth a return visit -- especially with the $45 top-tier pricing.

Oh, how things have changed in two years -- notably the location of the dispensary itself. Trenchtown has ditched its low-key, tiny Highlands locale for the corner spot of a Lakewood shopping center otherwise dominated by Hispanic shops -- not unlike Jamaica and the majority of its neighboring island nations. Specifically, there are two Mexican nightclubs, a carniceria, a panaderia, and a tire shop with entirely Spanish signage, all offset by one huge Lion of Judah-painted weed shop.

My budtender later told me that the shop made the move about a year ago into the new space, but the owners and growers have remained constant.

Like the last shop, the new one keeps some of the urban vibe inside, with spray-painted canvases hung on the walls of the lobby along with a few Rasta-centric touches of Bob Marley and red, gold, black and green here and there. A tall, pixie-cut girl who later doubled as my budtender greeted me at the receptionist window. Patients have to show their ID and red card to a camera mounted outside instead of handing it over to the person to look at, but the process moves you more quickly to the bud bar, from what I could tell.

The bud-bar room doesn't have the same corrugated tin decor as the old one, but it still manages to keep the natural, earthy vibe going with a raw, unfinished-looking setup and lots of irie vibes from Bob pictures and posters.

First-timers get member pricing on things like edibles and hash, but the bud menu is priced for all patients, with every strain on the shelf selling for $25 an eighth or $150 an ounce. Unlike the last time we were at Trenchtown, the selection was huge, and nearly everything was direct from the Trenchtown gardens.

My budtender went from a quiet, mousey thing while checking me in to a total pot nerd as soon as we started checking out the herb displayed on jars along shelves on the back wall. Sativa-dominant strains were on the left, hybrids in the middle, and indicas on the right -- and there are little reminders on the counter and hung around the shop in case you forget. Hash made by Colorado Concentrate Company was kept in a fridge out of sight below the counter, with grams of shatter selling for $35 to non-members and $25 to members. The center also has hash deals on Wednesdays and shatter deals on Saturdays that bring the prices down to $20-$25 a gram. Other deals are posted on the center's Facebook page daily.

Continue for herb photos and the rest of the review. But I just wanted some bud this week, so we dove right into the sativas, starting with a jar of Jack Herer that was actually lackluster and overly leafy, with not much of the strain-distinct haziness those buds should have had. But any doubts I had about the shop's stock was erased the instant my budtender held the next jar under my nose. That chunky batch of Agent Orange set things right, with buds that smelled like fresh-peeled navel oranges and were coated in trichomes from tip to stalk. Other strains were equally impressive, including a borderline grapey OG Bubba, a very spicy Void and a Ghost OG/Railroad Thai cross with the awesome name of Patrick Swaze that had a heavy, peppery smell to the earthy jar. The people at the shop are human, though, and not everything was as well done. I could have gone without seeing the Purple Flo with no purple or Flo traits to be found, or the mid-grade Qrazy Train.

Still, the Triple Sour Diesel was a phenomenal batch, with spear-shaped buds coated in amber trichomes and oozing with a ripe, earthy finish to the smell. The well-cured buds still had some sponginess to their overall feel, and when broken up, they let off a strong, rubbery/leathery odor in the air and a sheen of sticky resin on my fingertips. The flavor was spot-on, smell-wise, through the two or three hits worth of ganja I usually load up, and I often take an extra green hit just for the flavor after toking a bowl. Uplifting and full of energy, the herb had me cleaning house and knocking off projects left and right -- and I wrapped it all up with a well-deserved munchies session. At $25 an eighth, this was an easy decision, and one I would trek back to Lakewood for again and again when the mood strikes me for something strong in the Diesel department.

I opted for the Bruce Banner #3 for my other strain, though part of me really wanted to take home an eighth of the Agent Orange (I'll probably stop back by for some anyway). But something about the Pine-Sol freshness of the Banner in the jar was too nice to pass up. The finger-shaped buds had a tight trim, but they were still sandblasted with silver crystals deep into the maze of calyxes and silk-thin orange pistils. The flavor was even more pronounced, and while I've never smoked pine sap, I now have a rough idea of what it might taste like. As potent as it was pungent, the Banner was a solid sativa for stimulating the old gut into action, and I had no choice but to make massive breakfasts in the morning to satisfy the hunger urges. For those paying attention: All of this is paying off, and I've gained seventeen much-needed pounds since this time last year with help from a little yes-I-cannabis like this. An eighth at $25 makes this an excellent purchase this week, and it's one I'll seek out again in the future.

Trenchtown was a pleasant surprise the second time around. The transition from mid-grade, overpriced Highland shop to affordable, quality cannabis in two years is good to see. The budtender also told me that the shop will eventually serve recreational customers as well, though that likely isn't happening for another six months or so, she said. In the meantime, medical patients looking to get some good buds to consume without hitting their wallet hard should certainly have the shop on their radar.

Read more reviews from Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic, William Breathes, in our Mile Highs and Lows blog, and keep up with all your Colorado marijuana news over at The Latest Word.

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