Medical marijuana dispensary review: Kindness Medical Cannabis
It's my favorite strip of pavement in this town, but I don't make it to East Colfax nearly enough. It's always so amazingly weird there. Where else can you get offered everything from street tacos, hookers and crack at a food truck (true story) to coffee served by girls in lingerie with hula hoops?
I'm in constant amazement at what East Colfax has to offer. So finding a zen-like pot oasis surrounded by a Juggalo-run head shop, auto body repair garage and a gun store the other evening was not so much odd as comfortingly normal.
Kindness Medical Cannabis
Location: 5702 E. Colfax Ave. Denver
Phone number: 303-733-9956
Hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Owner/manager: Jason Kamen
Mission statement: "No way are we saying we are the best or doing something nobody is doing. We are just trying to provide a safe, clean and professional atmosphere."
Opened: Sept. 20
Raw marijuana price range: $30 to $55, tax not included.
Other types of medicine: Hash, edibles
The door shutting behind me sealed off the noise of traffic, leaving only the sounds of mild indie rock and the trickle of water from the rows of long planters hung on the wall. Pens and clipboards with the shop's paperwork were on a shelf in front of a few chairs. Otherwise, the room was very plain. After filling out the paperwork out, I was buzzed through a door to an even smaller room, where a statue of Buddha sat serenely on river stones next to the bulletproof window of the reception desk. Everything checked out, and I was buzzed through yet another security door to the bud room.
Going from a dimly lit, elevator-sized secured room to the open, flowing art gallery of a bud bar is a great shift of perspective. I was greeted by Karma, a very personable French bulldog, who followed me for the rest of my visit. If (and hopefully when) we ease our restrictive rules on medicating on site in dispensaries here in Colorado, this is the type of lounge I could sit and have a bowl in. Vintage turquoise mod couches were placed around a colorful coffee table facing another aquaponics display where a massive fish tank was set up to filter water through a multilevel terrace of wide, white porcelain planters.
Colorful abstract oil paintings hang all over the walls, making the bud bar itself blend in as opposed to being the focus of the room. It's a rad, modern-looking bar, though, featuring brushed metal, glass and unfinished two-by-fours used as the countertop instead of the standard glass cases you're afraid to lean on. Another case to the side of the bar held a large variety of hash and other concentrates, as well as a few edibles. I was the only one in the shop, so me and the budtender, a guy in his thirties with a neck tattoo mostly covered by his shirt, struck up a conversation right away.
On top of the counter was a large spice rack with at least two dozen jars, each containing a small sample of the herb for sale from the massive jars kept on the shelf below. Manager Jason Kamen said the shop had been preparing for a September opening for months at their warehouse grow. He said they are running "every medium you can imagine" there. The selection was borderline overwhelming, but it's ganja, so it's not like I'm complaining.
The pricing structure was a bit confusing to me. To its credit, the staff had a huge range of $45 and $50 strains that looked great. In that range, the orange ISS, funky Diesel and a crazy, pepper-smelling herb called Calizahr were all worthwhile. There were also two $30 strains I would buy any day at that low price. What I didn't get was how some strains made it to the $55 range. After tax, it ended up being around $60. With shops just down the street selling equivalent quality for less, with tax included in their prices, I asked Kamen why consumers should pay the extra 10 to 20 percent.
"That is just how it goes," he said. "It's based on the strain itself and the quality of it. If we got Platinum Kush in but it smells like crap, then we're going to price it at the appropriate bracket. The quality is reflected in the price, and everything is priced really, really fairly."
I picked two of the $55 strains to take home with me to see for myself. I only had $70 in my wallet, so I didn't even tempt myself by looking at the hash.
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