Medical marijuana dispensary re-review: Two years later at Walking Raven
Aside from 4/20, there's really no better day for celebrating cannabis than Thanksgiving. A good spliff goes great with stuffing, potatoes and entire turkeys waiting to be devoured. So to get your munchies going, here's our Thanksgiving day Mile Highs and Lows dispensary review of Walking Raven.
Walking Raven Dispensary
2001 South Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
Hours of operation: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
Online menu: none.
Raw marijuana price range: $35/eighth for members ($10/gram), $40 for non-members. Tax included in price. Ounce specials as low as $200.
Other types of medicine: Edibles, hash, tincture, BHO
Handicap Accessible? Yes.
Over the past two years, the shop has become a visible fixture on the corner of East Asbury and South Broadway. They have also taken on a few more pot-shop neighbors, including Little Brown House just across Asbury. If you've ever driven Broadsterdam in the last year and a half or so, you've likely noticed the ongoing price war between the two shops -- with both offering deals for $25 eighths or cheaper now and then.
Manager Luke, who didn't give his last name, said that there is some friendly competition amongst the MMCs, but that overall, everyone has been good neighbors. "We're definitely cool with the shops, but, yeah, it can be cutthroat. We're always keeping up on the specials, and someone is always undercutting each other."
The building itself has received a stucco facelift and turquoise paint job on all of the trim, though the dusty, pitted parking lot still looks about the same. Inside, though, layout changes have made it a much more patient-friendly experience. Back in 2009, when all of these pot shops were popping up, many were taking their design cues from shops in California -- where security glass and bullet proof windows are more prevalent. You'd step in to Walking Raven's main office (which was the former used-car-lot office, wood paneling and all) and hand over your paperwork before being buzzed back to a closet-sized booth, where you'd conduct business with a budtender on the other side of a novel-thick piece of plexiglass. At the time, the safety measures made sense to me, but in retrospect, it felt like they assumed everyone was a criminal.
Walking Raven has opened up a lot since then. Now patients step into a small, secured area to present their paperwork and are let back into a much more spacious dispensary. Walking Raven got rid of the claustrophobia-inducing bud window setup and has since gone with a wide-open glass bud counter. Otherwise, the shop still has the thrown-together look of my digs during my junior and (two) senior years as an undergraduate. Like a lot of the budget places, it has a well-worn feel to it. Fingerprint-smudged glass counters, trichome-hazed sample jars and the hodgepodge of posters and decorations on the wall.
There was one customer already ahead of me with a budtender, but a bro in a flat-brimmed New Era cap who was cleaning up behind the bar gave me the "What's up, dude?" nod, and I walked over to a clear spot on the counter. Buds are kept in tiny sample jars on the top, with no more than a dozen strains out on my visit. The sample jars were all hazy with trichomes after being used to often, so it was best to just pop the tops and check out the buds one by one.
The manager I spoke with said they used to have "a lot of different people" running their warehouse. Now things have been scaled back, and the shop has taken control of its herb farm with dedicated growers. I don't have pictures of what I brought home two years ago, but the herb in the shop now was easily better than what they used to have in stock. The OG cuts seemed to be dialed-in well, with a healthy look to the flowers and a spot-on smell.
At dude's suggestion, I made my way through a pungent Blue Cheese, a fruity Jack Flash that had a hint of the musky haze, and several sweet and tart OG cuts, including a very appealing Rascall sample. They also had lower-quality buds and shake from the same harvest selling for $25 an eighth. Aside from herb, they had a small assortment of edibles, mostly from EdiPure, and a few blends of hash and BHO. Nothing looked awful, but nothing caught my attention enough to want to take home. Signing up the shop as your caregiver will get you strains at $10 a gram. Non-members pay right around $40. All average prices for the quality, and tax is included.
Keep reading for pictures and reviews of the strains William Breathes took home this week.