Medical marijuana dispensary review: Ballpark Holistic Dispensary is nearly in the ballpark
Ballpark Holistic Dispensary
Location: 2119 Larimer Street
Website: on Facebook
Hours of operation: 12-7 Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Owner/manager: Jessica Kuhn, Charles Denver Parks
Mission statement: "Our mission is to offer a very alternative way of medicating."
Opened: October 2009
Raw marijuana price range: $8 to $12.50 per gram.
Other types of medicine: Three levels of hash, edibles, tinctures.
Handicap accessible?: Yes.
Ballpark has been around for more than a year now, and its advertisements and location, just a few blocks from Coors Field, were intriguing. For months, I figured it was another polished downtown dispensary offering the usual selection of herb and edibles. When I walked in, though, it seemed like a confused pairing of medical marijuana products stuffed into a storefront.
I stood around in the front waiting room for a minute or so before a woman came up from the back to copy my paperwork. Then it was through the locked door and into the back of the shop, which opens up into a gigantic floor plan. A massive wall that had once separated Ballpark from a neighboring pilates studio to the southwest has been removed, exposing a now-empty and unused space.
Owner Jessica Kuhn said the shop eventually plans to expand, but that changing state regulations have left things up in the air. "We are waiting for all the [state and city] rules to finish," she says. "But hopefully the store will look very different come April."
To the right is a sectioned-off room lined with shelves of fertilizer, soils and other gardening supplies; it was one of the larger grow-supply setups I've seen in a dispensary.
For a long time, Kuhn's goal was to give caregivers cost pricing for supplies in return for low-cost meds for the shop to sell -- not to supply the shop with its own grow. The grow supplies were a big draw for their client base, and the trade-off worked well for the dispensary and its patients. But state laws requiring dispensaries to grow at least 70 percent of their own meds have really hurt. "That really jacked a lot of people up," she says. "I felt like I could offer more to my patients [then]. But now, with the model of 70/30, it is a challenge to constantly keep fifteen to twenty strains at all times. Our product does turn quickly, but it has put us into overdrive."
And the strain on their strains was evident when I finally made it to the bud bar in back, which almost felt like an afterthought to the grow-supply business up front. A large green chalkboard with prices hung behind the secondhand wooden display case. Opposite that was another wall of shelves lined with grow equipment. There were roughly fifteen strains in different-sized jars in the case the day I was in, nothing more than $12.50 a gram. Some of the strains, like the Flo and the Snowcap, looked frosted and decently trimmed -- but other jars looked like they were filled with leafy shake. The Durban Poison, for example, was a leafy trimmed cut that had a strange red-wine alcohol scent in the jar.
The budtender was knowledgeable about her strains, even if they weren't done perfectly, and talked to me at length about how the strains affected her and other patients she had talked with. At roughly $43 for an eighth or less, there isn't much to complain about, and there were some decent cuts to smoke on, but strain-nerd connoisseurs aren't likely to find what they are looking for.
Kuhn admits that the herb has suffered as she finds her way amid new rules and regulations. She has wrestled with shortening curing times by as much as ten days to get products out to patients faster, and has rushed cutting and trimming on some strains simply to keep stock on the shelves. "These rules have caused more havoc and are more detrimental [than beneficial]. Now you have to rush something, when before you didn't have to."
Kuhn predicts that the dispensary will get into the flow of things eventually and that its product will only get better as the hydroponic garden setup is dialed in.
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