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Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Medijuana Center in Denver

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This dispensary has closed.

Though the logo for the Medijuana Center -- a Colorado license plate likeness with TMC branded on it -- hasn't changed in the year-plus I've been passing by it on my way home from the Westword offices, the management apparently has.

The Medijuana Center 105 E. 7th Ave Denver, CO 80203 720-328-4730 http://themedijuanacenter.wordpress.com

Hours: 10 a.m to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
Raw marijuana prices: $25 to $29 per eighth. Members capped at $19 eithths.
Online menu: Yes, but hard to tell when last updated.
Other types of medicine: Kief, vendor hash, vendor edibles.
Handicap accessible? Yes.

Within the last six months or so, the shop has come under the same management as La Conte's Clone bar, a discount shop that actually had some good herb for the price and extremely friendly service when we visited them last winter. A manager I spoke with after my visit said the La Conte's crew took over TMC with the same approach: passing on the bulk growing prices to customers while providing better-than-bulk-quality ganja. That move translated to a newer price structure for TMC patients that starts at $25 an eighth and is capped at roughly $36 with tax.

The change in management also brought on a change in layout for the dispensary. Though most shops are tied up with city and state regulations that prevent them from doing any big renovations, TMC had enough room to simply shift things around to make the bud bar more accessible. As I said, I wasn't in before this visit, but pictures on Facebook show the transformation. Now the waiting area is in the small entry way off Seventh Avenue and the bud bar is the main feature of the shop.

tmc.graphwall.jpg
A long row of glass counters is set up in front of a bad-ass graph mural incorporating the TMC initials in dark purples and blues across the entire wall. It definitely adds to the more urban feel, and according to my budtender, the staffers like it that way: "It doesn't have that medical-office feel, you know?" Yeah, dude, I do. And it's cool with me, though it's probably not the type of spot that a grandma with glaucoma would search out. Or shit, maybe she would. Maybe you have a bad-ass grandmother who's into hip-hop culture and puffing tough.

I digress. I walked in during a lull in the shop, just as another patient was paying for her half-ounce purchase and the two employees on hand looked like they were sitting down to take a long-awaited break. Still, the budtender, a guy about my age (thirtyish) named Conal, greeted me warmly and with a wisecrack about my timing. He ended up being one of the more notable budtenders I've hung around lately, with a good sense of humor and plenty of knowledge about the strains he was carrying.

He gave me a brief tour of the shop, starting with the jars of bud shake and trim selling appropriately at around $70 an ounce. This wasn't anything worth smoking, in my book, but worthwhile if you're the type of person who likes making his own ganja edibles from scratch. It also has a cool apothecary vibe going for it, emphasizing the notion that every single part of this plant can be used. A manager I spoke with after my visit said the trim sales have been a big hit with customers. He has one cancer patient in particular who comes in and buys it just to make treats. He notes that it's a much better deal than spending $5 to $10 for one or two brownies from an edibles company.

At the other end of the glass counters were jars of actual buds. First one to catch my eye was a chunky, foxtailed Pineapple Express cut. It was grown, timed and trimmed well from the look of it, but the buds were more on the moist side than I'd like to see. The result was a rush of warm, wet, stale air when I cracked the jar lid, which did nothing for the bag appeal.

Same was true of most of the jars, several of which I recall having humidifying packets inside of them. A small shake of the jar and a few seconds uncorked brought most of the buds back to their strain-specific smell -- but some, like the OG x Bubba, still didn't seem salvageable in the smell department. I also passed over a mediocre Jedi Deathstar that lacked any distinct strain smell from my brief encounter with it.

Herb is broken down into three price ranges, with the low end selling for $25 and the "private reserve" cuts selling for just over $35 with taxes. First-time patients get any strain for $20, so I went straight for the top two in the house: Tangerine and Banana Kush. Also worth mentioning was an army-green cut of sativa-lanky Lambs Bread. The buds were down to the shakey bottom pieces, but it had a crazy sugary sweetness, like a freshly baked batch of snickerdoodle cookies. Maybe not worth picking up this harvest, but I'd be curious to see what the next one brings.

The shop also carries strain-specific kief from its grow, as well as pre-weighed half grams of solvent-extracted waxes and oils from a few third-party vendors. TMC was running a buy-one-get-one special for $35 that made the price worthwhile. Otherwise, a gram sells for $50. Hopefully they keep the BOGO going indefinitely, because $35 a gram is a damn good price.

I walked out spending just under $60 for a split eighth, a gram of wax and a good vibe about the Medijuana Center.

**Note: This article originally mis-quoted the price on a gram of hash, as well as misnamed one of the strains. It has since been corrected to show that a gram of hash sells for $50/gram and that the strain was Tangerine.

Page down for pictures and reviews on what Will brought home this week.


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21 comments
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 

Tim
Tim

The Best nugs followed the Best Staff!

Hal
Hal

Hey WB.

Can you define the words 'cut' and 'sample' for us?

Victors Secret
Victors Secret

I love "RealityCheaker's" comment that anything $25 or less is dirt weed.... I'm about to expose a huge industry secret... The best nugs in the world cost $800 - $1000 lb to grow and about the same to market and sell.  So, given the right volume of $25 1/8ths / $3200 lbs dispensaries net net net $1200lb.. thats 37.5% net net net... The shop I work for grows 50lbs a month & sells more than just nuglets (wax, clones, trim, edibles etc).. you do the math... 

I can't think of another business in the world, including those on Wall Street with these kinds of margins.  If the shop you're going to doesn't have $25 1/8ths but has some as high as $50... ask them why they're so GD greedy!!  

If you're shop isn't growing their own & they have to purchase meds their wholesale cost is about $3000lb... but that's not all that likely if they're in compliance with state regulations that require them to grow 70% of their own product.

RealityCheaker
RealityCheaker

I find it to be funny that you experts think that they are growing certain strains when 99 percent of the time two cuttings from the same plant produce two buds that look nothing similar!  While many growers are producing a good product with very high THC levels the smell, color and leaf size are controlled by how much sunlight, fertilizer, water and timing that each plant received by the same grower.

If you want a good product to smoke make sure to follow these easy rules: 1) Find a good family owned grower who is not buying dirt weed from California at $10.00 an eighth and mixing it in with their own product that costs $20 to grow indoors. 2) Make sure the product you get is all from the same plant source/plant because hackers can hide junk in anything to keep their cost down. 3) If you are getting a great deal then you are getting crap! In Colorado you must use lights, air conditioning, chemicals and electricity to grow indoors and this is not FREE! If they are selling an eighth for under $25 then someone is cutting corners or buying California dirt weed and mixing it in or selling it as the good stuff. 4) If its green, blue, red, yellow or any cool color all this means is the sun and chemicals had a fun day together just look for the THC on the plant and if it looks good then that is a great place to start.

Everytime you buy the harvest will be the same but different so don't buy into the salesman hype that this is the latest and greatest because it is actually 3 month old cuttings that are now ready to harvest and it looks really blue this time dude!

MMJ-Patient
MMJ-Patient

Are the surveillance cameras working?  I want to make sure the DEA is watching.  :)

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

"Nuglet"  - Approved. Some of my favorite buds are nuglets.

"Dibby" - ...I though "snap" woulda worked from the "not-so-old-school" lexicon, 

So go ahead, draw a dibby of dank on your dab and drop it in your dome and get doh'd before dawn.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Hal, Thanks. A cut is technically the term for a 'cutting' or clone off of a plant. A sample is just that, a sample of a plant. I loosely use the word 'cut' to mean sample, though, and have been doing so for some time. Though as someone pointed out a few weeks ago, it can be confusing if you don't know me or follow my stuff. It's just bad slang I picked up a long time ago to reference the fact that the bud I'm smoking is cut off of the harvested plant. That's what happens when you write as informally as I do, i guess. live and learn i've been trying to be better about the distinction lately, but sometimes things slip. thanks for reading. Have a kick ass weekend, my friend.

RealityChecker
RealityChecker

Victor,

If you are making 37.5% after all costs then you are doing twice what the average shop is doing. I am willing to bet that your gross is 37.5 before overhead and your net is in the 3% to 5% area and less if you are in a good retail spot. Also you are correct when you say that many shops are not in compliance because a lot of them are not and this is why Colorado has gotten so many regulations.

Lulzie
Lulzie

gotta love when clearly clueless people spout off. Thanks for the laugh clown.

Hal
Hal

Very well!

If it were not for the pictures, it comes across as if you are actually smoking a live cutting of the plant rather than the sample provided by the grower(s).

A cutting demonstrates the breeders talentsA sample demonstrates the growers talents.

I know you mean well in your write-ups and I do enjoy reading them even though I would never visit a dispensary for any reason.

Victors Secret
Victors Secret

No, really, I'm not mistaken... I handle the bookkeeping and net net net bottom line profit of around $60,000 a month is typical.  $720,000 a year before taxes and we are taxed on about $1,000,000 because so many expenses can't be written off Federally. Based on the highest Federal Corporate tax rate of 35% or $350,000 your down to $380,000 divided among several partners that have risked their life savings and freedom to bring patients the medicine they need and it works out to around $100K per partner. Considering the never ending stress & headaches I see these guys go through everyday I'd have to say going back to the basement would be a bit more appealing...  Make $150k, no taxes, no headaches!

RealityChecker
RealityChecker

Lulzie,Clueless? Clown? How many grow facilities have you been involved with? Most of the plants grown in Denver are by people that thought this was going to be a get rich quick business and are growing anything that they can to keep the doors open.  The state has required a $100k in upgrades to most growers with cameras, computer systems and forcing anyone with a record to sell or close their doors.

When the first seeds were planted they could be whatever the seller put on the bag or splices grown from existing plants but there is no such thing as a NYCD x Blow Me plant, this is just what some stoned grower named his product to get an extra $10 spot for his product. Most growers need to sell $30k per month just to pay for their overhead because their profit margins are now below 20 percent, this is because most growers don't have a clue to what their costs are and selling product for $20 dollars for an eighth is putting them out of business so they are buying cheap California products that smells like crap and is not within the Colorado laws. Why do you think California is under attack from the Federal government?

I think the next time I name a new plant it will be in your honor because  your comment provided so much insight into  the grow business.

 I will say that this business reminds me of the liquor stores with all of the sad buzzed people I see by ten in the morning and they all know so much about life.

Ry Prichard
Ry Prichard

^Hah, seriously -- that one was off-the-wall.

Tangerine Haze is a Devil's Harvest Krew cut, came out of a massive seed pop of Soma's NYCD x G-13 Haze back in 2003-04.  I don't believe it has Ft. Collins roots, and it's different than The Tange/Tangerine that the JDR guys always refer to.  Here's the run-down, including specific info from one of the creators: http://www.kindreviews.com/04/...

For what it's worth, their cut looks like something else to my eye, possibly the Tangerine proper, which almost always has the purple tinges to it.

Just figured I'd chime in on that one... both strains look pretty solid!

MMJKush
MMJKush

William why don't you include videos in your dispensary reviews?  I think that would help out tremendously.

MMJ Kush

William Breathes
William Breathes

"A cutting demonstrates the breeders talentsA sample demonstrates the growers talents."

I like that, and may borrow it in the future -- giving you full credit, of course. :)

Now, go enjoy a nice bowl in this brisk Colorado sunshine!

Seriously
Seriously

You are a retard. You work with shitty small dispensaries that don't know how to run a business. Profit margins should be approximately 50% of gross revenue or higher. It is a volume game, your shitty little 20 light warehouse AIN'T GONNA BE PROFITABLE. Come visit a few 100+ lighters and you will see economies of scale that allow for tremendous profit margins with cost per lb of around $500. Sale price $3200/lb, overhead (round up to  $700/lb) nets a tidy profit of $2500/lb. If you aren't hitting these metrics it is because you suck at your job. Or maybe you are one of this connoisseur growers that thinks there shit is "fie" but yields 3/4 lb per light. That's a fun hobby, but that ain't business.

Victors Secret
Victors Secret

Our CPA uses a tax methodology based on federal case law from a CA case.  While I don't understand it completely the IRS does allow us to write off certain expenses, including grow expenses.  What they do not allow is the deduction of any expenses directly related to the sale of MMJ. The formula is based on the square footage of MMJ sales space vs the square footage of the building. Let's say the sales counter accounts for 20% of the floor space of the overall building that houses the sales counter, then 20% of our deductions aren't allowed.  If you've noticed a lot of dispensaries have a very small sales space within an extremely large building.  While it just worked out that way for some, for others it's a way of reducing the percentage of expenses that aren't deductible.  

RealityChecker
RealityChecker

Victor, I would like to know what you can't write off on your Federal taxes? The IRS has only threatened California growers with this exclusions so I am now sure you are basing this on fiction not fact. Considering that 96% of all new businesses close within 5 years  the medical marijuana is no worse. I have worked with 5 medical marijuana dispensaries and there is not one of them making this kind of money or now not being able to use the tax deductions. Based on what the IRS said 100% of deductions will be wiped out including rent and employee compensation so if this happens no one can make a profit by selling it, this is what they did when alcohol was banned. I would also be the first to admit that from what I have seen 90% of all these buyers are getting it for recreation use and  I am fine with that but the real clowns who come up with drug names for there product are the people who are doing the most damage.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Someone else pretty knowledgeable on the subject gave me a slightly different run down that maybe doesn't originate this cut in Ft. Collins, but that's where the crew that brought it to Colorado was based.

I didn't get into a genetics discussion with the manager I spoke with, unfortunately.

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