Medical marijuana dispensary review: Alternative Medicine on Capitol Hill

The first time I walked into Alternative Medicine on Capitol Hill was a mistake. I was looking for The Clone Store, but I was stoned and walked in the wrong shop. I'm pretty easy going, so I said fuck it and waited in the lobby. But nobody came to receptionist area, so I slipped out and found the tiny Clone Store sign.

Alternative Medicine on Capitol Hill (AMCH)

1401 Ogden St
Denver, CO 80218
(720) 961-0560

Owner/manager: Did not reach an owner.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Online menu: Yes.
Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO, edibles, tincture.
Handicap accessible? Yes.

This time around, I was greeted by a smiling woman named Julie. I handed over my paperwork and was buzzed through to the patient waiting area to fill out two pages of waivers while sitting on one of the chocolate leather couches. There was a flat screen hung up on one wall and a few weed-related posters on the walls, but I spent most of my time there looking down at what I was signing and talking about the holidays with my budtender, Dave. The shop also had free chips, soda and waters for cottonmouthed patients forced to wait behind people like me who take way too much time at the bud bar.

The bud area is separated from the waiting area, and patients are let in one at a time. The room hums with the sound of the display coolers for refrigerated goods; there was a huge selection of edibles from Cheeba Chews, Mountain High, Mile High Ice Cream, Simply Pure, Julie & Kates, Northshore and a lot of others. If you prefer eating your ganja instead of smoking or vaping, this place is like the King Sooper of edibles. Otherwise, the shop is pretty simple, with a utilitarian gray carpet and simple glass countertops. A huge whiteboard featured price breakdowns for all of the strains, waxes, hash, edibles and tinctures. It was easy to figure out.

Budtender Dave was an energetic, friendly guy, somewhere between a camp counselor and college tour guide. I told him my preferences for herb and he began pulling out his suggestions. We started with a Barney-purple Purple Dragon that he said would be a mellow indica-leaning hybrid. Popping the lid let out a warm pocket of moist air that took a minute to clear from the jar. Not saying it was wet or weighed wet, because I would tell you if it was. It's just that there was more moisture than I prefer in my herb, even though it mostly went away after a few days in the not-so-airtight jars. The herb itself had a hydroponic sweetness that reminded me of some similarly moist, under-trimmed, but consistently good Bubblegum I used to get for a few years here in Denver.

Most of the rest of their stock had similar characteristics. There's a $38 dollar non-member cap, everything is hand-trimmed, and the buds all look big and healthy in the jars -- although some, like the OGER, Chemdawg and Sour D, were slightly off in their strain-distinct smells and lacked the overpoweringly earthy but tart rubbery soil smells. On the other hand, the Flo, Fruit of the Gods and Headband were all nearly spot-on. All of the herb is tested for potency through Herbal Synergy, and Dave was quick to point out total cannabinoid levels for everything from the 13 percent strains to the 28 percent Sour Kush.

The shop also has cheaper strains sold in bulk starting at the half-ounce. Apparently it comes from a secondary grower who specializes in pushing about six or seven different strains to their maximum yields by pure organics. That means less attention to the buds individually, so don't expect super-heady connoisseur shit or anything like that. But the LA Con I took a look at was the type of well-grown, outdoor-quality herb that I would love to have been able to find for $190 an ounce when I was a broke and up to my glassy red eyeballs in medical bill debt.

Hash is done by the strain to some degree, but for the most part, Alternative Medicine had blended-strain hash divided out according to filtration level. Dave said the center is trying to move toward more strain-specific hash in the new year, as more and more patients have been asking for it. For how dense it looked, the $30 Sour Kush hash I brought home later broke up into moist brown sugar that melted and bubbled on the bowl. The hash itself had a Pine-Sol scent after sitting in the pill jar for a few days and I got some of that in the first hit on top of a titanium screen in a clean glass bowl. Still, it was nothing that stuck with me long enough to write about here. I did get fairly rocked from said hash bowl, though, going into a zombie-like stupor where I felt no pain and tried to devour everything in sight. Side note: I also realized that I need to stop smoking herb in my kitchen.

First time patients get member pricing, so I walked out $35 lighter on the wallet but an eighth of an ounce heavier in herb. Not everything I saw in the shop was impressive, but for the price, convenience and service, it's not a bad place to check out if you live in the area (or just get stoned and lost on Capitol Hill from time to time).

Page down for the strain reviews and photos.

Location Info


Alternative Medicine on Capitol Hill

1301 Marion St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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Bowen Therapy Adelaide
Bowen Therapy Adelaide

Should marijuana be legalised? To some extent it should be because it's found that marijuana can cure many illnesses. We should not totally outlaw a thing just because of its negatives. 


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.



California is definitely in a huge fight(Northern California here) but in no way have we stopped. We may move around a bit but no one has any intentions of leaving for good. We are going to keep this going until it's legal.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Too bad AMCH is located within 500' of Morey Middle School.


Purple dragon is supposed to be a sativa dominant hybrid (about 60-40).  Perhaps they just named a strain purple dragon, not realizing that there was really a strain out there by that name or something, but if it was indica heavy, they may have done something wrong. 

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Why is that 'too bad'?  I seriously doubt that this dispensary or any other dispensary in Denver sells to children.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

It is too bad because US Attorney John Walsh may soon threaten AMCH and most other dispensaries in Denver woth criminal prosecution because they are within 1000' of schools, parks, or libraries.


15 in Cali??? You should talk to people in Cali, they are all going underground. The only ones left in areas I know of are business men who don't smoke herb. Everyone else is gone. They gave them warning to go underground again, the smart ones understand they can take the loot and the customers and recede into the background. Let the stupid ones pay the feds and take up their time so theres none left for them. At least that is the word I hear from CA.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

What dispensaries have been shut down?  Do you mean that fifteen of the dispensaries the Department of Injustice threatened didn't shut down but were closed by the DEA?

When you say only three or four arrests, do bear in mind that the conviction rate in Federal court is very high, and that the Controlled Substances Act prescribes draconian penalties -- these victims of the criminal conspiracy abrogating the Constitution may be held for many years by those terrorists!

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

We'll see, no rational human can accurately predict the moves of the DEA.  They threatened all of California, and only shut down about 15 dispensaries in the past 3 months out there and only made 3 - 4 actual arrests. Of those arrested were those caught with millions of dollars and thousands of pounds. No one really balls it that big time in Colorado.

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