Mile Highs and Lows: Evolution Medicine Services
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: The Wildflower Seed reviews Evolution Medicine Services
Evolution Medicine Services
4476 North Broadway, Boulder
Hours: 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week.
Owner: Brandon Ralph
Owner's statement: "It's a humanitarian alternative to pharmaceuticals."
Opened: November 26, 2009
Raw marijuana price range: Grams run $14 to $17, with a free gram with your first purchase. All meds are 100 percent Colorado-grown organic.
Other types of medicine: Edibles range from $3 to $20, hash from $20 to $25 a gram, and honey-based tinctures are $50.
Patient services and amenities: ADA-accessible, and will refer customers to body, health and wellness therapists. No doctor evaluations on site; no smoking or consuming on site. Credit cards will be accepted in the near future.
Our take: I've been nostalgic lately. I drive by neighborhoods I used to live in and feel an emotional tug at the heart. I get teary-eyed remembering my childhood dog. I can't seem to delete text messages from people I love, and I'm basically reduced to useless mush by old Cowboy Junkies tunes. I am a serious mess; I mean it. But I'm giving into the bittersweet, letting the memories swirl like mini-marshmallows in the steamy cocoa of my heart. (I told you I was a mess.)
Maybe the real problem is this: After frequenting dispensaries almost exclusively for the past few months, I sort of miss my drug dealer. I don't know about you, but I've been a friend of the people who've sold me pot over the years. Some of them were already my buddies, but many became pals through the natural process of getting to know each other over a joint once or twice a month. You know, chatting about politics and conspiracy theories, watching COPS and learning about the latest High Times centerfold. And sooner or later, the talk invariably would turn to aliens. I miss this. And I know I'm not the only one who kicked it with my herb connection. For plenty of people, this transaction, while often technically illegal, has come to be an extremely social act.
More social, for instance, than stopping by the store to pick up an eight of Jack Herer and some space cakes. I worry that the friendly drug-dealer experience many of us have come to associate with purchasing marijuana is becoming a thing of the past. So many dispensaries have an in-and-out approach, or are either so formal or so lax that you can feel like, well, just a customer.
So it was with an emotionally charged heart that I headed to north Boulder to check out that cool little neighborhood's rumored burgeoning weed scene, and found myself at Evolution Medicine Services, a NoBo storefront tucked into a little strip mall in a part of town where artists' studios, mixed-use small businesses and urban-chic development collide against a backdrop of huge mountains. Although Evolution's owner, Brandon Ralph, is only 22-years old, his dispensary has the feel of an old-time marijuana transaction -- with a brand-new business plan that seems very marketable. No inappropriate offers to give you a shoulder massage here; Ralph just sticks to serving 100 percent organic, Colorado-grown bud at lower-than-average prices.
The shop keeps more than ten strains on hand at all times. "They'll all make you happy," Ralph told me. "I have a good thumb for people and what they want." And that includes a hard-to-come-by Lemon Sour Diesel and the original Maui Wowie strain, as well as other classics like Afghani (classic sativa) and Northern Lights (classic indica) and some greenhouse-grown Blueberry. Also available is what he calls "a nice" Mr. Nice Guy -- an indica-sativa cross that's heavy on the indica -- and Mother's Finest, a rare energy-inducing indica.
Ralph suggested three strains for me: a heavy indica called Blue Dream, Afghani for pain relief and the Sweet Island Skunk hybrid, which he said had "anti-depressant" effects. He insisted it would make me happy. I didn't believe him, but I bought some anyway, because it was pretty and smelled sweet.
Later, after one bowl of the Sweet Island Skunk hybrid, I find myself laughing out loud at the thoughts running through my head (it reminds me of freshman year -- again with the nostalgia) and remember Ralph's prediction. The Blue Dream smells fresh and tastes delicious; I smoke it at the end of the day while playing some web Sudoku. (Yes, I am a geek, and yes, my best time is 3 minutes 37 seconds.) The bluish-white nuggets cause my mind to wander: This is excellent for daydreaming, writing poetry, philosophizing or generally nodding off to sleep, but not so stellar for competitive Sudoku. I end up drifting off a bit, finally finishing the puzzle with the bad-boy time of 17 minutes and 43 seconds. How embarrassing.
Evolution Medicine Services feels a lot like I would expect a North Boulder shop to feel -- in a good way. The mountains reflected in the front window are covered with snow right now. But I will come here again, stopping in on my way to hike, bike or head up to Estes Park. Somehow I know that Ralph will remember me, and we'll have a deep conversation about aliens.
William Breathes and the Wildflower Seed are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.