Medical marijuana dispensary re-review: Denver Kush Club
The changes to Denver Kush Club since our first visit in May 2010 haven't been drastic, but the transition from stoner den with a thrown-together lounge and dispensary to a slick storefront with memorable herb made for a great second first impression.
Denver Kush Club
2615 Welton Street
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Online menu: Yes.
Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO, edibles.
Not everything has changed. You still walk through a cinderblock-walled, penitentiary-esque locked security room at the front, but being safe is better than being sorry, and I'm not the one sitting behind the bulletproof window looking out every day. After showing my ID and red card, the guy behind the counter buzzed me through to the patient waiting room. (Side note: Don't forget to feed your meter. The meter maids are ruthless on Welton.)
Inside, though, things have matured. Gone is the seating area that at one time the owners had hoped would turn into an Amsterdam-style ganja lounge. Instead, stacks of Denver Kush Club shirts and hoodies were displayed in the middle of the room, and a glass pyramid of assorted custom baseball caps and Air Jordan sneakers were highlighted in a glass pyramid along the back wall. Jazzy beats thumped through the lobby and bud bar in the back; I could hear the customer ahead of me laughing back there with his budtender, while a young guy named Lee in skinny jeans, a flat-brimmed cap and a lip ring copied my paperwork and put me into the shop's computer system.
While the artwork at most dispensaries is something to overlook, the awesome urban art on the walls here is worth checking out. The red walls are decked out with paintings and murals from Denver artist Michael Ortiz, who blends amazing abstract color work with Colorado-themed stencils and tag writing.
It's probably not a place for your hip-hop-hating dad with a red card, but it feels perfectly at home in the heart of a diverse neighborhood populated by everyone from black families who have been in the area for generations to hippies and, lately, twenty-something hipsters and musicians.
Lee was friendly and warned me up-front about the low stock in back. He said the place had been hit hard over the weekend and that they were down to the bottom of the jars, but that almost everything had also been lowered to the $25-per-eighth range. I have actually found some pretty good herb at that price recently, so I wasn't too discouraged. On the way tot he back, he pointed out that Denver Kush is also in the personal vaporizer business, selling the Kryptonite personal vaporizer.
Like the Omicron (read more in our product-review blog, Stoner MacGyver), the DKC's version of the vaporizer pen works on cartridges filled with extracts of your choice, either by the shop or at home. Lee gave the thing a rousing review, saying it pulls better than a Volcano vaporizer and is the first vape he's really been able to enjoy using. Fans of discreet vaping might be interested; the filled cartridges sell for about $10 at DKC.
In the back bud room, herb is divided between two glass counters, with a cash register in the middle to separate things. The day I was in, herb grown at Denver Kush Club was on the right side and herb bought from other shops was on the left, making it convenient for people like me who want to see what the shop really has to offer. A small Plexiglas display case full of concentrates was on top of the counter as well, easing the selection process.
The only top-shelf buds still available was a full jar of $40 Skywalker OG that I checked out first. It was very well done, with a deep, earthy kush smell, but my eyes kept drifting to the lower-priced buds. Lee hadn't lied: The shop was definitely down to the ends of the inventory. Dozens of empty, crystal-coated glass jars were stacked in the back corner. And at the counter, no more than six housegrown strains were down to mostly larfy leftovers.
At first this seemed somewhat disappointing, but once I started popping lids, I saw the silver lining. Strains like the Chemdawg and Bruce Banner that I brought home were only lacking in size. Still coated in crystals with a distinct and pronounced smell out of both jars, those strains and others were well-grown flowers. Also notable was the outdoor Elephant cut that had a sugary-sweet smell, and a skunky-smelling and orange-haired Island Sweet Skunk. Everything is grown in coco fiber mix with mostly organic nutes.
Aside from the Skywalker, the only other purely Kush strains on the shelf looked good and were priced appropriately at up to about $35 an eighth. Although there was still plenty of out-of-shop herb, I was more interested in puffing on what Denver Kush Club grows in its garden.
When I called later, staff members were mortified to learn when I had been in; they assured me that the shelves haven't looked that low in a long time, and said they have been hit with a lot of new patients lately. You can't knock a place for selling good herb and being successful, though, and based on what I saw, I'll definitely be back when the fresh harvest is in later this week and next.
Page down for strain reviews and photos.