Mile Highs and Lows: Pain Management of Colorado
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.)
This week: William Breathes reviews Pain Management of Colorado in Cherry Creek.
Pain Management of Colorado
110 Cook Street, Denver
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Saturdays by appointment only.
Owner: Miles (who'd prefer his last name not be used!)
Owner's statement: "To provide our patients with a better quality of life."
Opened: November 2008; in current location since March.
Patient services: On-site doctor evaluations, home delivery, patient referrals. (Pain Management of Colorado also operates clinics or provides service in Aspen, Boulder, Breckenridge, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Vail.)
Raw marijuana price range: Prices not displayed, but an eighth of an ounce goes for about $65.
Other types of medicine: Edibles, candies starting at $10.
Our take: There's something more than its tony address that makes Pain Management of Colorado feel right at home in Cherry Creek North. It could be that this dispensary has the slick, clean feel of a hip real-estate office (that is, if your real-estate agent's office smelled faintly of marijuana). It could be the sharp look of the employees, who wear business-casual designer clothes, in contrast to the ripped jeans and tie-dyes of other shops. It could be the overwhelming sense of professionalism, confidence and friendliness the operation gives off. Or it could simply be that the prices are slightly higher than at other places I go shopping.
Fortunately, there's no hoity-toity Cherry Creek attitude here.
I strolled in five minutes before closing a few weeks ago, and the staff was still all smiles and hellos when I walked in the door. And while this dispensary may be a professional clinic, it's not without character. The waiting room has a few pot-chic stylings such as poofy leather chairs, an unoccupied dog bed in the back and classic rock playing on the radio of the tattooed office assistant, all of which helped mellow the mood. I filled out a couple of pages of paperwork and had my card scanned, and two people and ten minutes later, I was called back to do some shopping.
In the hallway just beyond the waiting room were two glass counters filled with various confections, all made in an FDA-approved kitchen by a professional chef. While employees at most shops can barely tell you what edibles they have on hand, let alone how much you should or shouldn't eat, the staff member behind the counter seemed to possess a Julia Child-esque knowledge of what was in the edibles, as well as the approximate dosage of each treat. After hearing a five-minute run-through of the munchies, I settled on a small cake and a grape lollipop -- each $10, and each, I later discovered, as comatose-strong as the staffer had promised they would be.
From there, I moved on to the "pot counter" -- actually an Oval Office-sized wood desk in what might once have been a boardroom. From behind the desk, owner Miles greeted me warmly and then went over the options, detailing how indica- or sativa-dominant each strain was. Pain Management has a core set of roughly a dozen strains growing organically on an endless cycle; it had nine strains on hand this day, including the eye-catching Goo, Critical Mass, Cough and Grapewreck. The Cough had the classic musky smell and dark-green coloring, but unlike the Cough I've seen in recent years, this bud wasn't compact and was loaded with crystals. The Grapewreck (a Trainwreck and Grape cross) was enticing as well, especially when you compare it to some of the mass-produced Trainwreck and Pineapplewreck other shops carry. It had the typical buttery-smooth Trainwreck taste and smoke, and wrecked me with a strong cerebral high.
Unfortunately, the prices weren't clearly noted on the jars, and I didn't see a price list anywhere, so I wasn't quite sure what I was spending until after the Grapewreck was bagged and I was charged $60. And that particular strain was on the lower end of the price scale.
PMOC offers no price breaks or incentives to make this dispensary your primary caregiver -- beyond consistency in its meds, Miles says. And the prices, he explains, reflect both the care taken in growing organically as well as the organization's overhead.
For the patient who's looking for a dispensary in a part of town that isn't all used-car lots and fast-food joints, one that's free of obnoxious decoration and perma-stoned employees whose every answer ends with "dude," Pain Management of Colorado has a professional feel and higher-end products. But the pot shopper who still cringes at the sight of an eighth of herb going for more than $65 might want to shop somewhere other than Cherry Creek. -- William Breathes
William Breathes and the Wildflower Seed are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.