Mile Highs and Lows: Cannabis Medical
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. (You can also search Westword's directory of dispensaries for one near you).
Cannabis Medical shares its space with a printing shop.
This week's review: Cannabis Medical. See our review after the jump.
762 Kalamath Street
Denver, Colorado 80204
Hours: Monday through Friday 10 to 5 p.m.
Date opened: May 1, 2009
Patient services: NA
Doctor evaluations on site: No
Must customers make the dispensary their designated caregiver: Yes, if they want to visit the actual dispensary
Raw marijuana price range: $80 per quarter ounce
Other types of medicine: Tinctures, edibles, teas
Our take: There are so many nice dispensaries opening these days, it's easy to wonder what all the medical-marijuana naysayers are fussing about. Law-enforcement officials warn of an industry populated by back-room operations and glorified drug dealers -- but do these sorts of operations actually exist in Colorado's rapidly evolving dispensary scene?
It turns out they do -- and exhibit A is Cannabis Medical LLC.
Cannabis Medical's website is the first indication something's not right with the operation. While the site's packed with flashy ads and impressive pictures (as well as promises of an online store coming soon), the dispensary's physical address is nowhere to be found. You'll need to call and schedule an appointment to learn the store's located at 762 Kalamath Street -- which, it turns out, is the second red flag. That's the same address as the dispensary owners' other business: Digital Impact Communications, a printing company. Once you're buzzed in through the locked front door and one of the two employees takes a quick glance at your patient ID (unlike nearly all other dispensaries, this operation doesn't make a copy of your records if you just want to shop), it's time to get down to dispensary business -- at the print-shop counter.
Even if you're willing to look past these problems, it's hard to forgive the paltry inventory that's then produced from behind the counter: a small box containing two or three strains of pot, each going for $80 an ounce. There's a $10 thimble-size "sampler" of cannabis tincture, too, as well as a smattering of laughably petite edibles. A tiny baggie holds a $10 brownie roughly the size a quarter, one that the owners promise holds two full-strength doses. They have normal-sized granola bars, too, though those will set you back $40.
This is just a tiny fraction of Cannabis Medical's selection, the staffers explain after a few minutes. The rest is in their real dispensary, which, it turns out, is located behind a closed door nearby. From the way they describe it, the place is amazing -- a smorgasbord of strains, free samples, even "naked women lounging about," as one of them jokes. But you'll have to take their word for it; no one's allowed to see it until they make Cannabis Medical their designated caregiver. You know, for privacy reasons and stuff. And in return for becoming your caregiver, "We'll be your friend," one of the owners offers with a knowing wink.
When asked if a prospective patient can check out the dispensary digs before they sign away their caregivership, they seemed a bit stumped. Apparently no one's ever bothered to ask that before.
"Tell you what," they say: "Buy some medicine, see if you like it and come back. Then we'll give you a tour."
Here's a better idea: Don't bother with Cannabis Medical at all.