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Medical marijuana dispensary review: Riverside Wellness in Denver

Thumbnail image for riverside wellness front.jpg

This dispensary has closed.

I first heard about Riverside Wellness a few weeks ago, after burglars had broken in and stolen $8 in cash. The staff seemed to take it in stride, showing a sense of humor by pointing out that the money was stolen from a "karma jar" -- and karma tends to work both ways.

Riverside Wellness

3722 Chestnut Place
Denver, CO 80216
720-381-0214
www.riversidewellnessmedical.com

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Online Menu? Yes.
Other types of medicine: Hash, kief, BHO, edibles.
Handicap-accessible? Yes.

Riverside is somewhat hidden, as dispensaries go. It's tucked back on Chestnut Place near the Pepsi bottling plant along the Platte River, and drive-by traffic doesn't seem to be very heavy. The shop itself is in an old warehouse building, with a mix of dark-brown and light-tan bricks and wooden siding that gives it a lot of character on the outside without screaming "YOU CAN BUY WEED HERE!"

The inside of the shop was just as subtle as the outside. I was buzzed in the front door by my budtender to the secured lobby area. Things are simple inside, and the walls have been painted a neutral beige that's a welcome relief from the loud greens that some dispensary owners still feel they have to use everywhere just because they're selling greenery. The receptionist counter is at the top of a small flight of stairs, although Riverside has also set up a wheelchair lift for handicapped patients. To your left as you walk in is the flowering-room viewing area, but since I was the only person in during my visit, I didn't get a chance to check it out.

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Riverside's viewing room.
While my budtender was copying my card and ID and entering me into Riverside's system, I was buzzed back to the actual waiting room. A huge flat-screen is hung on one wall, but it was turned off in favor of some dubstep over the high-end, surround-sound system laid out around the few couches and chairs. It felt like the living room of a pre-furnished condo or a display at Furniture Row, with no art hung on the walls and matching poofy couches. I didn't take a seat, however. Instead, budtender Lisa and I chatted about Colorado springtime and our favorite small mountain towns to visit and unwind.

After a few minutes, she finished up the paperwork and took me back through a closed door in the waiting room to the bud bar. Much like the rest of the shop, the space is simple and uncluttered, with a lot of empty counters in an L-shaped setup spanning the back third of the room. One cabinet had a few pipes and vaporizers, while another held all of the hash and edibles. Herb was kept on top of the counter in aluminum-topped glass jars for patients to pick up and check out as they wanted.

Unfortunately, my timing was awful, and the harvest on the shelves was down to the bottom of the dozen or so jars. Lisa told me that management recently had to fire the entire grow team and bring on a new master grower and crew. She said the last growers were increasingly lazy with their methods, and the quality of the herb had dipped considerably. It was a disappointing lead into my visit, but I appreciated her honesty more than if she had been touting the stock on hand as being top-shelf.

riverside budbar.jpg
www.riversidewellnessmedical.com
Lisa said the new growers are already light-years beyond the last crew and that the harvest they pulled down about two weeks ago is fantastic. Too bad that harvest hadn't completed the drying and curing process and wasn't out on the shelves. What I was left with were the jar-bottom leavings of about a dozen strains. Herb is broken down into two price ranges, with top shelf going for $35 an eighth and mid-range selling for $25. The shop also had $16 eighths of mixed bottom buds and straight trim selling for even less -- about $50 an ounce.

For edibles, Riverside carried a small selection of sweets and treats from Dixie, Edi-Pure, Cheeba Chews and Sarah's. The shop also sells BHO wax made by Dixie from Riverside trim for $20 a gram and $25 for shatter oil. I avoided the shatter oil due to its used-motor-oil color, opting for the orange wax instead.

As for the herb: The dozen or so strains were okay, but as Lisa conceded, they could have used some more TLC during their grow cycle. The Sweet Diesel and Sweet Tooth were wispy and underdeveloped, and strains like the Alaskan Ice and Heavy Duty Fruity could have used a better trim. The pre-98 Bubba Kush had a great smell, but like the rest of the stock, it was down to the bottom of the jar. By the time this review is up, however, none of the old harvest should be on the shelves anymore, and the MMC should be stocked with fresh herb from the new growers.

Overall, Riverside has a lot of good things going for it. The staff made me feel more like a friend than a customer, the prices are great, and the shop itself is a clean, inviting spot that doesn't feel like a back-alley, black-market pot shop. Because of the shift in grow staff, it's hard to get a read on what the dispensary is capable of putting out. But based on my experience this first time, I think Riverside will be worth checking out again down the line.

Page down for strain reviews and photos.



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21 comments
Bumpblc
Bumpblc

 Low grade weed is all I find at dispensaries in Colorado, would like to go back to the days of sticky one hit wonders.

nazmun@Denver
nazmun@Denver

  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. http://www.tgtree.com

Colorado Mmj Patient
Colorado Mmj Patient

Nice one Ice Pick. You must be MMIG scum who got butt hurt from me exposing you as trash. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

MMC's are limited to selling small clones by the absurd regulations of MMCED -- 1 CCR 212-1 "Clone refers to a non-flowering medical marijuana plant that is no taller than eight (8) inches that is in a growing container that is no larger than two (2) inches wide and two (2) inches tall that is sealed on the sides and bottom, although the seal on the bottom may contain ventilation or drainage holes"

WhoGaveYouThatJob?
WhoGaveYouThatJob?

The term 'clone' is antiquated per Colorado law - they are "immature plants" in the MMED-era.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

... from an Alternative Universe devoid of facts or reality.

Ice Pick
Ice Pick

The law is the defense, and it's doing an excellent job at this time.  When's the last time a Colorado state regulated MMC was busted by the FED?  Ha Do & the grower at Cherry Top Farms... both breaking state law according to the complaints.  Any who were not breaking state law?  No?  That's what I said.

Walther
Walther

MMED officials have stated REPEATEDLY that they will not be any defense against federal prosecution. I guess "Ice Pick" is really an MMED employee trying to scare the shit out of even more dispensary owners and extort even more money out of them.

Ice Pick
Ice Pick

Angry much? Commercial and inefficient should not be in the same sentence, in fact commercial is HIGHLY efficient else it fails.  Don, look up capitalism for the monkey. "A first time grower with some education could yield more per watt than any silly warehouse."  LOL  

Monkey
Monkey

You can have all of it, no one I know wants warehouse weed. The people who don't like it should grow their own or find a caregiver with skill. Stupid people are the only ones who think they have to smoke commercial swag grown inefficiently or nothing at all. A first time grower with some education could yield more per watt than any silly warehouse.

Hootays Pooch
Hootays Pooch

hey stoners are supposed to be slack jawed neanderthals, no?

guest
guest

 If a dispensary were putting out .5oz per plant they would fail.  Simple as that. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You said Government Regulation and Control was good. Pick a horse.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

If pigs could fly, you'd need more tinfoil in your hat.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Boulder is losing dispensaries faster than Denver due to the City's arbitrary and capricious over-regulation and qualification standards.

Ice Pick
Ice Pick

If it keeps the FEDs out, then yes.

WhoGaveYouThatJob?
WhoGaveYouThatJob?

Please believe it - every MMC who uses a DBA to hide their money through Wells Fargo accounts might be money laundering, just sayin'... and props to Wells Fargo for playing dumb... smh

Monkey
Monkey

Ask any warehouse grow what their monthly kilowatt hours are and divide that into how much weed they produced for that month, I guarantee any home grower with proper education will out perform any warehouse in both yield and quality.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

McDonalds Inc. is very "efficient" ... in fact it is the most efficient restaurant business in the World! How's the quality, Tooth Pick ? Would you like to Biggie-Size those Freedom Fries?

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