Medical marijuana dispensary review: Garden of the Gods in Denver

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This dispensary has closed.

In high school, my friends and I used to buy weed from a guy who lived in some shady apartments. The dude only let one or two people actually come buy weed, so the parking lot of his apartment complex always looked suspiciously shady, with us kids hanging out smoking cigs and what little weed we had on us. I hadn't thought about that in probably ten years, but I instantly flashed back to it pulling up to Garden of the Gods.

Garden of the Gods

5050 York Street
Denver, CO 80216
303-292-3383
www.gardenofthegodsinc.com

Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Raw marijuana price range: $25/eighths, $180 ounces. $40/eighth special strains.
Online menu: Yes.
Other types of medicine: Edibles.
Handicap accessible? Yes.

Now and then, it's not unusual to park at a dispensary and see someone behind the wheel of a running car in the parking lot waiting for a friend inside buying meds. Not everyone has a card; I get that. The parking lot of Garden of the Gods, however, had at least four cars stacked full of people, with a few more lingering outside smoking cigarettes by the massive green wooden wheelchair ramp leading up to the shop's front door. My guess is that there were probably a dozen people waiting for someone inside to finish up.

Garden of the Gods has two locations -- one on South Federal in Denver, and the one I visited, in a huge warehouse in a heavily industrial area of York Street. Judging by the size of the place and the volume of herb I saw leaving it during my short visit, the center has quite a large grow operation going on in the back. I walked in and handed my paperwork over to the receptionist. A uniformed security guard looked me over, likely decided my skinny, stoned ass wasn't any real threat, and went back to flirting with her.

There's no real waiting area; you just mill around while the people ahead of you do their consulting and purchasing. It was actually much nicer inside than I had imagined, though by no means was it fancy. Just some pale-green paint on the walls, free water and iced-tea stations and a tastefully done display-shelf thing housing a selection of the cheap glass pipes in the shapes of birds and fish, plus a decent assortment of edibles made by other companies (which I later realized are probably the only worthwhile thing in the shop). So I stood around waiting and watching SportsCenter on the 50-inch-plus flat-screen on the wall.

I wasn't meaning to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help noticing the guy dressed up like a thrift-store pimp in a beat-up leather jacket and semi-matching Kangol hat ahead of me. He stepped up to the counter and greeted the budtenders by name before asking for two ounces of some strain that he said he had picked up the other day. I looked over at the other bar, and another dude was buying two ounces, packed up in fattened Ziploc bags. As people have said before in online forums and on the Garden of the Gods WeedMaps reviews, the shop is basically a clearinghouse for ounces. And at $180 for an ounce, tax included, the price is great. Unfortunately, the herb isn't.

After the dude in front of me had paid, stuffed his ounces in his jacket and walked off, it was my turn. Behind the counter was a room nearly the size of the waiting area, where six or seven budtenders were all bagging up herb or helping patients. Bud is kept in large jars on shelves on the back wall. My budtender was a younger woman who looked tired and ready to be done with her day. She asked me if I preferred sativa, "indiga" or hybrids in a no-bullshit way and started pulling down jars before I could finish telling her that I preferred sativa-dominant strains.

First up was the Sour Diesel and Durban Poison, two strains with relatively unique and distinctive qualities about them that are hard to miss; Sour D with a sweet-but-tart lemony diesel-fuel finish, and the Durban with a spicy, peppery haze over a light fruit sweetness. Neither lived up to their fame in this shop. The Sour D had the right look and a very light smell from the genetics, but for the most part, the buds seemed to be rushed through drying and curing. The Durban had a more pronounced smell, but the buds were schwappy from what was obviously a harvest that was premature by several weeks. As I sniffed through those, the budtender pulled down a few more for me to check out, including a smell-free Sweet Tooth, a leafy Sweet Diesel, AK, ISS, Sour Kush and a few others I failed to get down in my notes after I left. For the price-conscious shopper at an already cheap shop, shake ounces that I probably wouldn't even have made hash from sell for $50.

For better or worse, Garden of the Gods is also somewhat famous for its exclusive in-house strain, Escobar. It is apparently so coated in crystals that some have said it's dusted in something other than THC, and I've even been told by people who have tried it that it made them physically ill. I asked the budtender about it, and she said that they didn't carry it anymore. What they do have is the Poison Ivy, which the budtender says is the mother plant of the Escobar. She slapped a jar with a sample on the counter, and it looked like standard warehouse-grade bud turned to caviar, with a snake of dark-brown hash oil running through it like Christmas lights on a tree. It sells for $40 an eighth, and the budtender said the purchaser must sign a waiver. You read that right: sign a waiver. For a plant that has never killed anyone in recorded medical history. I stared at the poor girl in disbelief before declining to spend the extra money on something I wouldn't want to smoke.

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With people piling up behind me and nothing really standing out on the shelves, I chose the Sour D and the Sweet Diesel simply because they were in front of me and they were pretty representative of Garden of the Gods stock as a whole. The place is cash-only, so hit your bank up beforehand if you want to avoid service charges on the ATM; otherwise, it's a few bucks, and the shop gives you a free joint for using it. The budtender weighed out my purchases exactly to the hundredth of a gram and bagged them up in sandwich baggies that she rolled up tight and threw a sticker on as a seal. I walked out to my car, past the vehicle of a guy a few minutes ahead of me. The car was packed full of dudes waiting while he emptied a blunt out his window.

*note: This review originally listed an incorrect, third location for Garden of the Gods. It has since been removed.

Read on for strain reviews and photos.

Location Info

Map

Garden of the Gods Inc. - CLOSED

5050 York St., Denver, CO

Category: General


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29 comments
CSanders0003
CSanders0003

I went into this place to apply for a  job  and felt like I was walking into gang central.  The lady working the front desk was a complete B****H and was rude and wouldnt even make eye contact, her dress barley covered her body and her tits were hanging out, very classy.  The so called "security guard" was more interested in flirting with the trash then doing his job.   I've worked and been in MMJ facilities and i will NEVER go back there, for a job or weed, which i hear sucks anyway.

mile.highup
mile.highup

Wouldnt expect anyone to hold any more weight in this comment than any others, but i had to let myself be heard. I went to GOTG last year sometime (they were still selling escobar, which i reluctantly purchased for no other reason than the fact it was the only 'strain' they had with crystals. Even though it was obviously just rolled around in some shit that wasnt keif.) and was absolutely disappointed. I cant help but think that every positive review in these comments is either by an employee or someone who's never been anywhere else. I looked at about 4 or 5 different strains and couldnt even smell, let alone see, any difference between them. Now ive happened to smoked a lot of pot in montbello during my younger days, and maybe as long as its not seedy bricked up over the border stuff, the locals are happy. But what i saw there was a far cry from the MMJ i spend money on. As i said, i left with the escobar (that they no longer sell, wonder why) and it took me all but two hits to realize tbe flat out chemical taste was not for me and threw it out. Shame in you guys if you rate yourselves up, and pity on the people who think that's quality.

BigRay
BigRay

why is it that whenever i get bud from the garden, i have to dry it and try and cure the product myself. i mean, its understandable that they have alot of customers, but what happend to quality over quantity. im guessin mostly all despensarys dont even make an attemp to cure there product, doing that can cause more harm then good. getn bud like this is so disapointing, thats why im hoping in the vuture despensarys will have more regulations and so to say, (chec ups) to make sure people do things RIGHT!  hope the garden will take things that people write and say into consideration         ONE

William Breathes
William Breathes

As noted in the comments, this review originally listed an incorrect location for Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. 

It has since been corrected to reflect the correct locations.

datruf
datruf

If its for patients and medicinal than why roll your bunk weed in synthetic chemical GOOGLE IT* synethic THC* and call it escobar..I heard the owner was in jail..MMED do your JOB!!!

datruf
datruf

Garden of the gods sucks the owner is a low life gang member they have shitty weed and our in it just to swindle and profit

Guest
Guest

The biggest problem with shitty, cheap warehouse weed is that the people who buy it don't even know it sucks. They always insist that it's good smoke. Some people think Mcd's coffee is good as well. Each to their own, but I didn't read anything biased or wrong in this review. Just a review. I haven't been to this warehouse, but I've been to others and one thing that is consistent is that the buds are really low quality. If you think I am wrong, that's OK. Just so long as I don't have to smoke that crap I don't really care.

Evess206
Evess206

Like any professional reviewer, it is William Breathe's job to rate things as good or bad, and that should be respected.  I know for a fact that William takes his job seriously and he remains unbiased and honest.  A conversation has obviously been sparked by his article.  I really am happy that Garden of the Gods has helped and satisfied many of their patients.  However, I have also visited Garden of the Gods and had a similar experience as Will.  I will never go back.  It is not the right place for me.  I personally was not impressed by the medicine or the customer service.  It felt more like a McDonalds rather than a Red Lobster or a Chili's.  In-and-out, low prices, and large quantities.  As with any other business, the quality may suffer when this fast-paced, bulk production model is followed.  I am also concerned about any hint of PM.  God forbid a patient be exposed and have an allergic reaction.  -- I believe a GotG employee commented on this article, and was obviously quite defensive and offended.  This is a great example of poor customer service.  You now have several people, including myself, who have openly commented about their dissatisfaction with your dispensary, yet you show no desire to improve. For every one person that actually writes a comment, positive or negative, there are at least ten more who believe the same thing.  Take this into perspective and try to realize that your standards might be low in comparison to your competition.  You may actually be wrong.  Don't be offended.  You've obviously pleased a lot a people.  But swallow this pill and use this as an opportunity to grow and improve your business.  Don't respond so explosively to criticism and try some sympathy or an apology to those who had a bad experience, or felt in any way unsafe.  A patient is NEVER wrong for feeling unsafe.  You need to consider a solution, as simple escorting the patient to their car after they've made their purchase, or having zero tolerance for loiterers on your property.  Have some respect for your own business and the people that pay you money.  There are A LOT of dispensaries in this state and many more of those MMC's are now able to sell world-class product, which yours is not, at even lower prices. 

And a note to patients:  Do your research and explore all the dispensaries that are convenient to you.  Never feel pressured to buy anything.  Do your own research so that you're never fooled by an uneducated budtender that just wants your cash.  Know the basics of the current regulations and your rights so that you can spot red flags at "bad-seed" centers.  Be an educated patient so that YOU get the most out of your marijuana therapy.

Melrosebud
Melrosebud

Your reviews are becoming more judgmental and bias-- your first two paragraphs really prepare the reader for the condensing write-up of this "family-oriented" shop. Obviously you're "working" for River Rock nearby and have done whatever you can to slander Garden of the Gods. Yes, they have the best deals on edibles, and who cares if they don't make them-- the price point makes it affordable for their patients. This shop cares about their patients so much that around the holidays they held a raffle for their patients offering gifts and prizes your corporate job wouldn't even think to offer- Wii, TVs, and more. This was a big effort from the owners and staff to give hope to patients for a better-off holiday season. Why not try to have a more positive take on these shops all working for the same MMJ team. Your negative reviews hurt this industry more than help it and frankly- your reviews are depressing. We're all in it to win it, lighten up.

Bouldermeds
Bouldermeds

Javi is right on the mark!  Garden of the Gods is a quality place, and everyone should decide for themselves.  William Breathes should try an open up a MMC himself, maybe he wouldn't be so quick to judge...

Isaac Smith
Isaac Smith

At first read, this reviewsounded like a book being judged by its cover and not a review of a dispensarythat I often frequent due to my positive opinion of their customer service andquality and value of medicine. It is also my opinion that when reviewing a medicalmarijuana dispensary, one should rank the establishment on the quality ofthe medicine, functionality and professionalism of staff and management,including compassionate patient care provided by the dispensary and not on thereviewers personal opinions on the appearance of the patients inside thefacility.  Accessibility is something I alsoconsider a positive when ranking a dispensary as I have many patient friends whofind ADA ramps a convenience, rather than a hindrance.

From my point of view, that ofthe patient, and from my now seven month relationship with Garden of the Gods, Iwould suggest that anyone not pleased with their medicine or experience there speakwith the management, as I have always found their team ready and willing to goout of their way to assist their patients.

I wish you better luck in thefuture with your medicine William, but have to disagree with your opinion ofGarden of the Gods Dispensary, I would suggest you try GotG’s Bubblegum or Maui,if you prefer a Sativa, Purple Haze or Purple Cotton if you prefer an Indica,and I have never been displeased with any of their Skunks, Health, Happiness andWellness to you, always,,,

Holly HooPs
Holly HooPs

Working at RiverRock + Having a Patient tell me they have weaned themselves off Vicodin due to their regular use of our Indicas with high CBD + Having another patient tell me our infused tinctures are the only thing that aid in her severe Paralysis Discomfort + The Many other Patients who come to us not to get "stoned" but for the exact reason MMJ is even legal in the first place, to medicate and feel physically better = Priceless. The first priority of every budtender at Riverrock is to get an Idea of how we can appropriately medicate our Patients. I go into other dispensaries, and it's "makes you feel stoned" or "it makes you really high" ...No proper knowledge of how the medicine actually makes you feel. No SHIT, I know weed makes me high, what I want to know is if I smoke this Indica is it going to allow me to relax without putting me to sleep? Or if I have High Blood Pressure although I need energy, is this Sativa going to make me feel like I am going to have a heart attack? Certain strains truly do that to people and they tell us face to face, so then we know to move in a different direction toward getting them the exact strains that help them the most! Greed on the other hand, that is the absolute LAST word I would ever use towards RiverRock. These people I work with are some of the most giving, enjoyable, honest, HAPPY people I have ever worked with and I am grateful to be a part of this team. It has allowed me to shift my WHOLE perspective on how a MEDICAL MJ center should be run, with KNOWLEDGE, and focus on the PATIENT. Lets just all stop bashing each other, we are all in this together. LOVE! :)

Jenny Kush
Jenny Kush

Number one when researching I found this. Garden of the Gods Wellness. Dispensary Address, 5030 Boardwalk Dr Suite 1. City, Colorado Springs. So looks like there is a location in Colorado Springs. 

And on top of that I have been in this place and I will tell you right now that of all of the places that I have been, I as a female going in there alone felt uncomfortable in the parking lot (made sure I had my money on an inner pocket and had my keys ready when I went back to the car). And when inside I got a really strange feeling like I had walked into a drug house unannounced. Yeah it was in fact that bad. 

I was waited on at the front counter the woman would not get off the phone while copying my paperwork and such, basically grabbing the items that I already had out and ready cause I knew I would. No communication, no eye contact, and not real customer service. 

When I finally made it to the med room, they just started to gab jars to show me. I asked them specifically what I had come there for. Escobar. $40 for a jar of cannabis that was said to weigh approximately an eighth. Why is this approximate when they are so exact on the weight of everything else? What is the powder it is coated in? Now it has been a few months since I was there and got the Escobar. I don't recall the smell so much as the white powder all over it. It looked like the powder from when Amber glass hash breaks down in a jar, white powdery but with glass like shards in it. Smoking it was a whole different story. I have been using cannabis for 17 years now, and I have pretty much tried most strains out there. I have never in my life felt this way from cannabis of any kind ever. I was nauseous, shaky, and so anxious. After smoking one bowl I literally broke down in tears totally overwhelmed with the most anxious feeling I have ever had in my life. Now don't get me wrong I know that some strains will cause people to be anxious. But seriously one bowl, one standard size bowl, I have such high tolerance, and this one bowl was everything that I never want to experience from cannabis again. I never did smoke anymore of it. And I have never gone back.

I have seen several people that have gone to Garden of the Gods for meds and I have looked at their meds. I will tell you that none of it has been anything that I would ever go out of my way to purchase. So yeah. To each his own but I will never go there again.

Southwest Alternative Care
Southwest Alternative Care

"After all, they are the ONLY dispensary that offers you a money back guarantee." -- Wolfgang Gallegos

Southwest Alternative has been offering a money back guarantee for years.

Javi
Javi

I have been in the industry since it began.  I know what it is like to put everything I have into an MMC and be forced to shut down.  I have been a rep for an esteemed edibles manufacturer and have provided a valuable and highly regarded service that many centers have used to make their operations run more effective and efficiently.  I have put my name, my money, risked everything and I never wore a mask. I have been in over 200 dispensaries all over the state and Garden of the Gods is nothing like described in this article.  I question Mr Breathes integrity and his motives behind writing this sensational piece. It seems more like something written out of scorn and disdain rather than truth and objectivity.  Garden of the Gods provides the best meds they can to a wide array of patient's at affordable prices.  At any given time, I guarantee that they carry some of the finest strains and genetics in the state on their shelves.  Their friendly and knowledgeable staff helps more patient's in one day than a lot of centers do in a week.  They comply with all local and state regulations and have risked and exposed themselves to legal, federal and local scrutiny to provide medicine to the patient's they serve.  I have done business personally with the owner and referred patient's, employees and other MMC's to this center and I have heard only positive feedback from their interactions and experience.Articles like this do little for our industry and just seem like weak and immature cheap shots.  If you call yourself a man and want to be a positive driving force, then be an objective patient advocate and not a masked trash talker that whores his platform for negativity, sensationalism  and personal vendettas. 

Wolfgang Gallegos
Wolfgang Gallegos

The review given by William Breathes is completely bias and false. Right away you will notice his inablilty to review his facts before giving a story. There are only two Garden of the Gods locations. (both in Denver)  none in Colorado Springs. (check your facts buddy) The comment about people waiting in cars in the parking lot is simply ridiculous. Patients often need rides to get their medicine whether it's because they don't have a vehicle or simply cannot drive themselves due to illness. I have never seen anyone smoking product in the parking lot and the  24 hour armed security would never allow it.  Now for the comments about the product, the medicine grown and distibuted by this facility is second to none. I challenge all of you to go in and see for yourselves. (After all, they are the ONLY dispensary that offers you a money back guarantee.) And time for the grand finale...The motives. (bum bum BUMMMMM) .  William Breathes just happens to be in the shirt pocket of Norton Alvarez, The owner of River Rock dispensary located (very coincidentally) one block from the Garden of the Gods.  Sounds like someone is a little salty after recieving their " 40 Day Vacate Notice".  I guess being 1000 feet from a elementary school isn't as kosher as one would think.  Simply put this review is completly false, and I for one will stand by Garden of the Gods where you don't need a Prius and a Black American Express card to feel welcome. 

Pai Killers
Pai Killers

Vicodin is a controlled substance which contains the combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Hydrocodone belongs to a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers and acetaminophen is a comparatively less powerful analgesic that stimulates the effects of hydrocodone. Adderall on the other hand is a central nervous system stimulant. It works by affecting the chemicals in the brain and nerves that contributes in hyperactivity and impulse control. It is generally used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Findrxonline.net

Rbrodg
Rbrodg

I think William Breathes has officially gone from 'reviewer' to 'narc'...  c'mon man we're all on the same team! Don't need to call a shop out for smoking in the parking lot. 

Cannapages
Cannapages

This is a prime example of Dispensaries becoming suppliers to the streets. A $60-100 doctor's visit and $35 application doesn't seem so hot the second time around, and why buy instore when your dealer is a patient already? Plus, at these prices, ounce-dealers are getting a far better price than they ever did, historically.    The only way to alleviate this problem, is either "prescribe" cannabis like regular medicine, or legalize it. Even with good intentions, all we've done is progress to a new point in underground cannabis supply.

Bree Davies
Bree Davies

Your intro reminds me that I still want to make a movie called "Waiting For Drugs." Because pretty much everyone I know has been in some shady apartment complex parking lot at some in his or her life, waiting for drugs. I remember going to meet someone named Storm in a complex behind Buckshots in Aurora for weed. Sounds a lot like Garden of the Gods.  

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Did you save any of the tainted Escobar?

It would be interesting to send samples to any of the various drug testing labs that routinely screen public submissions for Synthetic Chemicals -- like many of the recently outlawed synthetic cannabinoids or amphetamine analogs found in street substances like "spice" and "bath salts".

Extreme paranoia and anxiety are symptoms of some of the series of synthetic chemicals used in street "spice" or worse the amphetamine based synthetics sold as "bath salts".

Perhaps the MMED would even be interested in running their own tests.

patriot
patriot

you call that research? looking at an ad and taking it on it merits? how about doing some journalism and picking up the phone to SEE if they are actually still their!! i live in the springs and their is not a garden of the gods shop here, fact!

your attitude tells me you wouldn't feel safe most places. so quit knocking the mmj industry if your such a pro pent of it being made available for medicinal use. you are doing it whether you realize it or not. it is ammo for the ones who want mmj gone completely, wise up educated one!

William Breathes
William Breathes

see my comment above -- I never said anyone was smoking herb in your parking lot.

second, you have to say your herb is second to none - you're one of the growers. Hopefully once you get past being offended, you'll see that i'm actually being critical for a reason. With some more quality control (drying, curing, pest/mold/mildw remediation) you guys could be doing great, especially at the great price you sell ounces at.

finally, I won't even humor your asinine assertion that I'm in anyone's pocket. Your problems with other dispensaries are just that: your problems. I've got no allegiance to anyone but the patients that read these reviews and are out shopping for healthy meds just like me.

patriot
patriot

norton alvarez...is he not the one that quoted.."felons shouldn't be allowed to work in this industry"...nice quote from a pocket fed who only cares about his bottom line. the article seemed like the  writer has an axe to grind with someone at garden of the gods with the overkill of negative comments.

someone give will a breath because he is just to consumed by the lobbying he does for certain dispensaries. i mean seriously, who takes this guy for real? they do national media pieces on him and mock him...he doesn't even get it!

he wears a disguise that looks like he is a white boy wannabe crip, while he is doing journalism...lol, right! he is what the americans that don't want mmj legalized point to when they need a poster child for what it would look like if mmj was legal nationwide. come on will, you look like your going to rob a bank when your in DISGUISE!

how about being yourself in real life when you talk to the media. and then disguise yourself when you go into the dispensaries? it's really not that difficult to do, disguise yourself!

William Breathes
William Breathes

I think you need to re-read the review. Nowhere do I say anyone was smoking herb on the property and last I checked, smoking tobacco is perfectly legal for people to do.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Thanks Ms. Davies -- I think that's a great idea for a script, maybe we should talk about this more some day. I'm usually in the office and can be found by tracing the skunk smell back to my desk.

Jenny Kush
Jenny Kush

I did not keep it...As much as I hate waste I threw it away...

Jenny Kush
Jenny Kush

Seriously if you are gonna sit here and tell me I am wrong you better check your facts I just got off the phone with the at 2:04 pm on January 26th. They are located at 5030 Boardwalk Drive  Colorado Springs, CO 80919. You can call them as well if you would like (719) 268-0063. I go to about 50 dispensaries a week for my job and I am telling you right here right now...that is one dispo that I will never go back to. I have seen meds from there many times and it has never been of the quality that I would ever consider smoking. Have a problem with that? Then it is your problem not mine. I will not use sub-par medication. I do not use pharmaceuticals because of the chemicals and I will not use mmj that I believe has not been properly flushed and is full of chemicals. I also will not smoke immature cannabis that has been harvested too early because it was going to seed. There is a difference between Medical Marijuana and Pot and it is about time that the MMC's out there are held up to medical standards PERIOD.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Most logical people understand that the mask is important for me to remain objective in my reviews. Going into a dispensary in disguise does me no good when I have to show my state issued ID and red card at the front door. As for the bandana, I think it makes me look more like a wild west bank robber than a "white boy wannabe crip" (btw, who says I'm white?)

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