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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Verde Wellness serving up some quality verde

verde.front.jpg
I like things verde. Salsa verde on a breakfast burrito makes life better and Mesa Verde National Park is one of earth's most beautiful places. And last week, I found plenty of my favorite kind of verde at another verde to like: Verde Wellness Center.

Verde Wellness Center

Location: 5101 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays.
Phone: 303-474-4489
Manager: Chuck Blackton
Opened: December 2009
Raw marijuana price range: $40 to $55 an eighth.
Other types of medicine: Bubble hash, edibles.
Handicap accessible? Yes.

Despite its name, Verde Wellness Center is in a red-brick, one-story retail space free of green paint, except for the little bit making up their logo on the front of the building. Off the street, there's a small lobby with nicer decoration than at entire shops I've been to lately, including heavy, arched hardwood doors leading back to the dispensary. On the table were a few "Linkhart for Mayor" signs and fliers along with stacks of other ganja-related ephemera. A tall, skinny receptionist named Ian greeted me and copied my ID and card while I filled out my paperwork on one of the red corkscrew-shaped vinyl seats.

Inside, the place has a Through the Looking Glass thing going on. Red walls face yellow walls which face black and white striped walls -- all accented by black painted molding and slick black furniture. A few mirrors and abstract paintings hung on the wall, but the colorful walls are the decoration. Despite being loud and bold, skylights let in cooling natural light and mellow out the space.

I played a bit dumb about what some of the forms were, and Ian took the time to explain every page and why I did or didn't have to sign it. After filling out my paperwork, he led me around the corner for a tour of their glass gallery while we waited for a patient to finish up buying meds in the glassed-off bud room.

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I've been in plenty of shops offering cheapo glass pipes, and every now and then I'll come upon one with a handful of nice water pipes for sale. Still, nothing has caught my eye enough to get me back in the door. Verde, on the other hand, is worth checking out for their glass collection alone. One of the four cases featured heavily worked hand pipes, domes and slides by renowned artists like Salt, while the others contained glass tubes and bubblers, including old-school RooR pieces, Toro micros, and what looked like original Jerome Baker-worked bongs retrofitted with glass-on-glass down stems and slides. The heart of their collection is the line of Sheldon Black bubblers and bongs, including a pretty rad build-it-yourself bubbler with glass-on-glass removable mouthpieces and down stems that are interchangeable with more detailed and worked accessories. The collection of more than thirty tubes and bubblers is impressive, and Ian said they are really trying to make it a steady portion of their business.

I stood around looking at the glass in awe, not noticing that the budtender had finished up with the patient ahead of me. He patiently waited for me to finish window-shopping before leading me back through the door to what is best described as the herb lounge. My budenter turned out to be the owner, Chuck Blackton, creator of the Lemon Skunk and winner of six High Times Cannabis Cups in Amsterdam. In short: dude knows his shit. He said his time in Holland's coffee shops gave him his idea of what a comfortable pot shop should be. The black leather couches and gas fireplace in the corner gave the place a mild swingers-pad vibe, but it was the table stacked with High Times magazines and a lung-bruising four-foot RooR straight tube offset that gave the place some stoner-chic attitude.

Herb is kept in a tall wooden hutch more suited for dinner silver than the mod confines of the dispensary. There's no traditional bar, and you and the budtender stand in front of the case discussing the herb like it's on display at an art gallery. If they had dozens of strains to chose from, this might be a headache, but the shop specializes in carrying limited selection on the shelves at a time, opting to cycle new strains in and out instead of running larger warehouses to compensate. As Blackton says: "I didn't win my cups off of schwag."

Considering who Blackton is, it was disappointing that they were out of Lemon Skunk the day I was in -- especially if it's at the level of some of their other meds. Most impressive was the tennis-ball stanky Sheldon Black OG, though it was priced at $55 and I was on a money-saving kick. Right below that, at $50, was a cut of Jack Herer that he assured me is the real deal from a very old mother that's been around for years. Everything else was priced at $40 an eighth, including a musky Mako Haze, a uniquely exotic Corleone Kush and a spicy Durban Poison that I wanted to sprinkle on pizza and eat.

Bud is weighed out at the counter next to the bud display case and packed up in standard orange med jars. My only criticism of the shop is that all of the strains were trimmed very tight, with whoever does their manicuring opting to chop down larger buds into small, loose chunks. Quality isn't the issue and everything looked good and smelled strain-specific: It's just that the looks aren't representative of the dankness. In total, I walked out spending under $50 for a split eighth of some chronic. Even if the herb had been mediocre, though, I still would have stopped by again simply to ogle the glass.

Page down for pictures and reviews of the meds.

Location Info

Map

Verde Wellness Center

5101 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: General


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8 comments
11er
11er

Chuck "THE LEMON MAN" has got to be one of the coolest dudes in the industry. The SB OG had a taste like nothing else i have tasted. He is the true breeder of LEMON SKUNK not GREENHOUSE. Ian knows his shit about the industry also.. They call me the CHICAGO KID....with the PowerPoint movies

nazmunnaher
nazmunnaher

We have recently begun to accept new members for 2011-2012 and walk-ins are always welcome. We have lowered our pricing and now offer a 10% discount for Veterans & Students (with valid ID) and HIV & Cancer patients.  (All our TOP SHELF 1/8’s are capped at $40).  Since opening our doors in 2009 our Denver dispensary has stood by our product and offered a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. http://www.tgtree.com/

Guest
Guest

chuck is a real cool cat. he is in this shit for real. you can feel the love he has for this plant.

Dagger
Dagger

bubba not photogenic? please. buds are so lime green they look white under a flush. love that pinecone shape. yummy too.

do you think jack and ssh are the same. i think so, i've grown both extensively.

creator of lemon skunk sounds cool. you should see what he's up to for future breeding.

etherialist
etherialist

Spot on review Breathes, though it's too bad the SB OG was over your price range as that would have definitely been worth it!

milwaukee you may want to check out a mmj critic on facebook under the alias Dutch BudzAlso there's a new seed line by the 'legendary grower Scott' mentioned in this Breathe's review: http://blogs.westword.com/late...Anyway the new line is called Rare Dankness and could be something to watch out for!!http://www.raredankness.wheres...

milwaukee
milwaukee

Thank you Mr. Breathes.

I appreciate all of your words, since I live out of the Denver area and I like to live vicariously through your reviews. I especially like the weeks you do two blog entries.

I am a Colorado MMJ card holder, and I wanted to ask if you know of any other states that have reciprocity with Colorado MMJ laws?

Also, I wanted to see if you can get some more of the Colorado genetics on your radar, such as THSeeds local work, TGA, and Centennial, since I have heard less than stellar reports from the latter.

Peace,

wtf?
wtf?

This review was a spot-on description of the experience I had meeting Ian and Chuck including bringing home some great Jack Herer and being disappointed that the Lemon Skunk was unavailable. Verde isn't cheap but it is definetely at the top of my list for quality medication.

William Breathes
William Breathes

I'm glad you like those pics, Dagger. Thanks for the comment!

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