Mile Highs and Lows: Peace in Medicine Center

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As Colorado's medical-marijuana industry grows, marijuana dispensaries of all types and sizes are proliferating around the state. Some resemble swanky bars or sterile dentist offices; others feel like a dope dealer's college dorm room. To help keep them all straight, Westword will be offering a no-holds-barred look at what goes on behind these unusual operations' locked doors in "Mile Highs and Lows," a regular online review of dispensaries around the metro area and beyond.

This week's review: The Peace in Medicine Center at 2042 Arapahoe Street. See the review, plus a directory of Colorado dispensaries and clinics, after the jump.

Peace in Medicine Center
2042 Arapahoe Street
Denver, Colorado 80205
www.peaceinmedicinecenter.com
info@peaceinmedicinecenter.com
720-242-9308

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. No appointment necessary.
Size: 5,000 square feet
Date opened: April 20, 2009
Clients: 1,400 as of September 2009
Patient services: Handicap accessible; no delivery service.
Doctor evaluations on site: Doctor evaluations Tuesday through Thursday for $200 total.
Must customers make the dispensary their designated caregiver: No
Raw marijuana price range: $90-$130 per quarter-ounce
Other types of medicine: Seeds; clones; balms; hash and marijuana tinctures; edibles like cheesecakes, cookies and muffins.
Amenities: Game room; pool table; music room; television lounge; vaporizer bar; complimentary snack bar; Medical Marijuana 101 classes; free treatments like massage chiropractic and acupuncture; on-staff veterans advocate and disabilities coordinator.

Our take: The Peace in Medicine Center is one of the biggest players in town, and the secret to its success seems to be its smorgasbord of extras. From its cushy TV lounge and vaporizer bar (patients can't smoke their medicine on site, but they can vaporize and inhale it) to its $250, seven-hour "Medical Marijuana 101" classes and regular alternative-therapy sessions that are free save for tips, the place rivals a Carnival cruise ship in terms of on-site activities. We're just waiting for the installation of the cannabis-infused shuffleboard court.

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Located amid a drab stretch of parking lots not far from the ballpark, the Peace in Medicine Center offers a comfy vibe inside -- though its mismatched furniture, Mexican-blanket tablecloths and Grateful Dead posters reminds us of a post-grad's first attempt at home decorating. The d├ęcor's fitting, since during busy hours the place can feel like a big party, with a constant stream of patients coming in to buy medicine, enjoy the amenities or get evaluations from the on-site doctors. Some people might welcome all this activity, though it can also be a bit overwhelming. The crush of people can also strain the dispensary's large, professional and friendly staff and lead to longer wait times to get access to the operation's pharmacy room.

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Given everything else Peace in Medicine offers, that pharmacy turns out to be a bit of a let-down. On a recent visit, the small single-room dispensary offered sixteen strains of weed, from $90 Blueberry to $130 Royal Kush, as well as tinctures ranging from $40 to $65 an ounce -- but no edible types of pot. The pharmacist behind the counter, who seemed knowledgeable about strains and ailments, explained the dispensary was in the process of acquiring new types of edibles, and in truth, Peace in Medicine Center should soon be offering a whole lot more. In the next two months, the dispensary plans to nearly double in size by expanding into a neighboring space, with more on-site activities, a kava-root tea bar, two additional marijuana-dispensary operations and a "ganja grocery store" featuring marijuana edibles and paraphernalia.

"We are all about the health," says owner Josh Stanley. "The marijuana is secondary." He's right: For those looking for the SuperTarget of healing experiences, Peace in Medicine Center is the place to go. But for the time being, those looking for quick, no-frills access to medicine might want to shop around.

Got suggestions about a dispensary that you love or hate, or news tips about the growing medical marijuana scene? Send them here.

Continue reading for a directory of area dispensaries and clinics in Colorado, and check back next week for another review. Dispensary and clinic operators who want to add or change information to these listings can e-mail them here.

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