Medical Marijuana Dispensary Review: Whole Meds in the Highlands

The purple paint is gone from the exterior, as is the "Kushism" sign that was once on the front porch. But the reminder of the shop that starred in one of my worst reviews ever (and the dirt weed the shop was selling at the time) still makes me shudder. Whenever I drive past 3355 West 38th Avenue, I get a bad case of MDTSD: Marijuana-Dispensary Traumatic Stress Disorder. That is, up until a few months ago when I noticed some other business had moved in. It dawned on me that even if the new shop was half-assed, that would still be enough to outweigh the negative impression left by the former tenant and I could get on with my life in peace.

See also: Marijuana: Have 19,000 Patients Dropped Off MMJ Registry This Year?

Whole Meds

3355 West 38th Avenue Denver, CO 80211 303-433-3151

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Raw marijuana price range: $8-$11/gram $25-$35/eighth-ounce, $130-$185/ounce. Members receive about 15 percent off purchase plus member deals Other types of medicine: Wax, kief, edibles, vape pen refils Online menu? Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes. Recreational sales? No.

I'm only half joking. I doubt I'll ever be able to look at the building and not think about the black, compressed-brick schwag selling for $30 an eighth under the name "Night Shade," the sleeping security guard or the headache-inducing color scheme. Kushism long ago abandoned that location, but the memories live on. But this summer, I noticed that the storefront (technically a former duplex home) had been repainted to normal beige and an "Open" sign was in the window. At the very least, the Barney-colored visual cue to my horrid experiences was gone. In its place was Whole Meds.

The current logo looks suspiciously like a national overpriced grocery store chain also containing the word "whole." I doubt that lasts very long. But gimmicky name and logo aside, the tiny little dispensary has done a complete 180-degree from the Kushism era. The table and chairs out front where I surprised that dozing guard back in the day is still there, but Mr. Sleepy isn't. Just an ashtray, a few cigarette butts and a pot magazine probably left by an employee on break. Instantly a better impression: I get hiring security guards, but they also seem to add an unnecessary level of intimidation and sketchiness -- especially when they're awake.

As I walked in behind an older couple bickering about how to spend what seemed like their last $20 on herb, I welcomed the absence of Kushism's blood-red interior. Instead, the Whole Meds crew has gone plain and simple. It's amazing what some neutral paint, a few American Furniture Warehouse couch pieces and a coffee table can do to de-ghettofy a dispensary.

Meanwhile, the man in front of me tried to get in with a red card that expired in 2013. While he regrouped with his wife (who apparently had a valid card), I stepped up and handed my card and ID over to the guy behind the counter. He gave me a look that said the staff deals with these two a lot and quickly entered me into the system before buzzing me back.

Continue for the rest of the review and photos.
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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes

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