There are over 1,000 dispensaries in Colorado, according to the state’s Department of Revenue. They sell their medical and recreational cannabis to seasoned Colorado residents, as well as to visitors to the legal state. Unfortunately, the endless strains, dozens of cannabis products, and an ID check-in process could seem daunting — especially for first time shoppers.
Luckily, some of the dispensaries in the Centennial State are joyful to shop in and can ease any first-time anxiety. Here are some dispensaries in Colorado that are worth visiting.
Denver Magazine 5280 awarded The Joint’s single location as 2020’s best dispensary. Due to their affordable selection and knowledgeable staff, it’s easy to see why. For starters, the local art and neon signs lure buyers in with ease.
It’s helpful when budtenders walk customers through their experience, especially if they’ve never been in a legal dispensary before. Luckily, at The Joint, each interaction is individual to every person who walks in the store. Employees work with one customer at a time, guiding each through the tempting selections of edibles, flower, and pre-rolls.
The budtenders at The Joint are knowledgeable and suggest high-quality cannabis by giving background information on the many jarred strains lined behind the counter. They even provide magnifying glasses so customers can look at the miniature crystals on each strain.
Their strain of the week, Pineapple Blast, is sativa dominant. This high-quality cannabis was so fresh and potent. For an eighth, it cost $43 after tax, which is a bit steep, even for high-quality herb. For example, an eighth of high-quality cannabis costs $31.50 on average in Colorado, according to Emerald’s breakdown of costs per state.
According to Marijuana FactCheck, a site that provides cannabis-related statistics, the average cannabis potency stands at around 15% THC. Although THC content shouldn’t always be the deciding factor, this Pineapple Blast had a potency of 23%.
They have affordable deals, too. For instance, The Joint sells a quarter of an ounce of their House Shake for $15. It is a bucket of leftover cannabis trimmings blended into one product.
Denver Recreational Dispensary (DEN REC)
Near the Rocky Mountains National Park or Downtown Denver, lies DEN REC — a great spot for affordable cannabis with quick interactions, considering most things on the menu are around $30 or higher.
The quality of DEN REC’s less expensive strains was just as good as a pricier purchase. DEN REC’s sativa-dominant hybrid BING! #2 was only $25 for an eighth, which is well below average for good weed.
Out of all the strains from these dispensaries, BING! #2 provided the best functioning high while still providing the psychoactive elements a user desires.
The budtenders were selling great products. But it felt as though they wanted to give customers their flower and get them out the door. Also, the environment felt slightly uninviting; the store had just a few glass cases and tables to showcase their products. It lacked art and decor on the plain white walls.
Helping Hands Cannabis
This Boulder, Colorado dispensary has workers that are well-informed about the THC content in cannabis and listened to customer needs. Although their hybrid strain, bubblegum, for example, had 17% of THC content, which is around the average THC content, the budtenders still explained how it was a worthy strain to smoke over a strain with more THC.
High Season, a West Coast cannabis brand, explains why THC content isn’t always the only thing that should be considered when shopping, saying that, “ultimately, cannabis is composed of many different compounds that influence the way THC interacts with your brain, which make getting high a lot more varied than you may have imagined.”
The cannabinoids and the terpenes in cannabis have different effects. A strain that has higher levels of THC doesn’t always mean the high will be stronger than something with 17%, they explained.
In summary, Helping Hands was very educated on THC content and tried to match customers with compatible strains.
Golden Meds is a chain dispensary scattered throughout Denver and other parts of Colorado. They sell everything, considering it’s a cannabis superstore.
The employees there explained why the state retail cannabis sales tax rate is valued at a high 15%. For example, on a near $60 tab, the tax raked up to be about $15.50. The array of edibles, joints, and flower were high quality and worth the price. It’s highly taxed for a reason.
The jump in price is due to the state’s investment in its infrastructure. Westword, Denver’s local news publication, explains that millions of tax dollars from cannabis-led sales fund education, law enforcement, regulation, and affordable housing, to name a few.
The Colorado Experience
A lot of things go into a purchase: strain type, THC content, price, and the way the cannabis is presented (edibles, plant-form, etc.). But the experience is often the deciding factor for consumers.
Many of the dispensaries in Colorado operate to give customers a knowledgeable experience so they know what they are consuming and why. One store could be very different from its neighbor, but working to give an informative experience is seemingly at the core of each.