Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Green Solution in Northglenn
Green Solution anchors a run-down strip center filled with discount stores, nail salons and a coin-op laundry. It's nothing impressive, and my initial reaction was to begin questioning my decision to drive to the 'burbs in the first place. (Like most people I know who grew up in the suburbs, I do my best to avoid them.) But the professional, medical atmosphere and clean modern decor inside the shop are a stark contrast to what's outside.
The Green Solution
470 Malley Dr.
Northglenn, CO 80233
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Online menu: Yes.
Other types of medicine: Edibles, concentrates, tinctures, drinks, lotions
There's a large and comfortable patient waiting area at the Green Solution, staffed by a redheaded receptionist behind a tall counter. When I visited, she smiled and gave me a "give me a second" look while she finished helping an older man in a paint-stained sweatshirt fill out his change-of-caregiver form.
After finishing up with the other customer and directing him to the leather couches on the other side of the room, she turned to me, smiling. "You must be new here," she said with the sweet welcoming tone that seasoned receptionists acquire. "I don't think I've seen you in before."
I handed over my paperwork, which she promptly copied while I filled out a few release forms. When I was done, she handed me a ticket with a number on it from an old-school raffle dispenser and explained how my budtender would use it to call me back for my order. I didn't quite get what she meant until we were buzzed through the security door to the Sam's Club of medical marijuana dispensaries. I was one of only a handful of customers during my visit, but the shop looks like it's equipped to handle a Harborside-like load at any given time in the recently remodeled space
Though the dispensary is confined to one green and dark-wood-themed room, services are broken down into different stations along the back wall. There's a section for cheap glass pipes and vaporizers, a concentrate and body lotion counter, the massive medical marijuana island that juts out into the middle of the room, the edibles counter with display cooler and freezer, and even a hothouse room for clones large enough to allow four rolling racks' worth to bask in warm humidity. There's also a nook set aside for "Grown Locally" hoodies, caps and sweatshirts, as well as non-medicated hemp body products.
It's ganja sensory overload at first, especially with the half-dozen or so huge flat-screen TVs set up with revolving patient prices and specials. The receptionist guided me over to a small cafe setup with free water, tea and snacks for patients as well as a few high tables and stools. Beyond the lounge were two glassed-off partitions that looked like casino cashier booths. The bubbly receptionist told me the booths were where I would pick up my medicine when I was finished.
Budtenders in collared shirts and ties were scattered around behind the counters, helping the three patients ahead of me with their shopping. Interestingly, I felt like the youngest person in the shop, and I'm in my early thirties. An older woman around my mother's age was sorting through the edibles section and talking about how she doesn't like smoking her medicine, while a man probably in his early fifties was snagging a bag of indica for his aches and pains.
After I stood around for a minute, feeling slack-jawed at the (for lack of a better word) California-ness of the place, a short blond woman came from a back room and introduced herself as my budtender. As a first-timer, I got the full fifteen-minute rundown of the shop, starting at the THC deli.
As far as I could tell, Green Solution has damn near every food product infused with cannabis made in Colorado. Everything from medicated barbecue sauce to your standard mind-numbing candies made by companies such as EdiMeds, SimplyPure, Julie & Kate, Gaias Garden, Dr. J's, Rest & Relaxation, Dixie, Bakked, Mile High, Cheeba Chews, Mountain Medicinals, Beyond Mars, Twice Baked, Sweet Earth, Mary's, Twirling Hippy and Granny T's. Even better, my budtender knew detailed information about everything. I've made it pretty clear over the last few years that I'm not the biggest edibles guy due to my stomach, but if I ever wanted to start experimenting, this is where I would stop first. For those of you who like to make your own edibles, they also sell ounces of sugar trim for $45.
Herb is showcased behind the custom glass-and-wood bud bar. Each strain has a representative nugget in front of a digital picture frame detailing the name and some strain information. It's a completely over-the-top display and adds an almost comical element of two-dimensional technology to something so organic and sensory. On the other hand, it's pulled off well and is completely unique to Green Solution. My budtender asked my preferences and medical needs, then went to work picking strains for me to check out based on the cannabinoid makeup. The shop does all of its strain testing in-house. Cannabis testing can be a sliding scale depending on who is actually doing the testing. But since everything in the shop is being tested against each other, regular Green Solution customers can presumably get an idea of what one strain will do versus another.
It took about ten minutes to find that the Mars OG wasn't very OGish, as well as to check out a hazy G-13 Haze and Purple Diesel that lacked the Chemmy funk. Other strains, like the Pineapple, God Bud and Chernobyl, were decently grown and appealing enough to want to take home. Overall, it's decent bud. Nothing I saw was at a connoisseur level, nor were any of the strains necessarily rare or unique -- but everything I saw was clean. Most were fruity hybrids with a hydroponic sugariness, and out of the two-dozen strains I went through, there was a noticeable lack of any Chem-related strains and OGs. Herb sells for just under $40 an eighth on the top tier, right around $30 for the mid-tier, and as low as $25 for the daily specials.
I made my picks, and my budtender scurried off to fill my order. I grabbed a cup of water and a pack of snack crackers from the free patient zone while I waited, and after a few minutes, a doorbell noise sounded over by the cashier windows and my number was displayed on the light board above one of the windows.
First-timers get a hefty 20 percent discount on their purchase, which brought my eighth of herb and half-gram of wax to a very reasonable $44 and change. Signing the shop up as your primary center gets you 10 percent off every purchase, with a few 20-percent-off days each month. There's also a point system that earns you free stuff with purchases, which is nice, because the shop keeps track of it for you.
Page down for strain reviews and photos.