Medical marijuana dispensary review: Cannabis Station
I've always been impressed with the way the Cannabis Station took over an old automobile service station without forgetting its past. For example, the old sign out front that once displayed prices for gallons of diesel now shows prices for ounces of Sour Diesel. And an artist has incorporated a few red Mobil Pegasuses (Pegasi?) and old-school red script lettering of its painted name above the two old garage bays.
1201 20th Street
Denver, CO 80202
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Online menu? No.
Other types of medicine: hash, bho, edibles, tincture
But the folks at Cannabis Station have also made the location their own and given it a ganja-friendly twist, painting large murals for RAW rolling papers on one side of the building and another two designed to look like windows into the shop where the former garage doors were.
The waiting room of the place has a very '70s vibe, and as I handed my paperwork over to the receptionist to be copied, I half expected to see a squinty-eyed Ron Slater lookalike walk out the bud-bar door bobbing his head to a classic-rock anthem playing only in his head. Wood paneling and exposed brick keep the place dark and moody, with a few retro-styled art pieces like a series of convex mirrors hung around the walls.
No paperwork to fill out, and before I could get a good look at the small waiting area that used to be the filling station's office, I was led back through a door of the workshop-turned-pot shop by my budtender, Brian.
Inside, Cannabis Station is a lot like the Rocky Mountain High shop we visited last year in Cherry Creek, and I later realized it's because they are owned by the same company: 1800MedicalMarijuana.com. Both shops offer vintage-style clothing, collectables and housewares as well as herb, edibles, pipes and papers. According to what we were told during that earlier visit, the company owner is already independently wealthy and has set up the shops as a way to raise money for cancer research in honor of his wife, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008.
From the still-lingering Cannabis Station MySpace page.
However, Cannabis Station's retail aspect is more toned-down than was the case at Rocky Mountain High. The center's got the same Maui Wowie T-shirts and a few other tops featuring the shop's logo stacked in a large criss-crossed shelving unit along one wall, and I also saw a few pairs of what looked like studded Chuck Taylors in another spot. But for the most part, Cannabis Station feels more like the lounge/hangout for a bunch of gearhead stoners. I wouldn't have been surprised to see a '55 Chevy with the hood up out on the open back patio.
All of which creates an awesome atmosphere -- but ambience only counts for so much. What really matters is the meds, and frankly, the amount of care put into them seems less than the attention to decor.
There's not really a bud display, as everything on the shelf is pre-weighed into eighths, grams and ounces -- which made looking at the buds more difficult than it should be. Instead of me walking up and looking at large jars and selecting from there, Brian had to pull down the opaque plastic box containing the pill jars filled with buds for me to check out every strain. Without large jars to pull from (and allow shake to sink to the bottom of), the pre-weighed eighths and grams were full of a range of buds, from shake to large chunks.
I only made my way through about half of the two-dozen or so strains on the shelf, mostly due to my own impatience. Brian was very helpful and friendly, though, pulling down the buds I requested and giving me his take on the medical properties of each strain as I peeped my way through the jars. A few looked and smelled good, including a fruity-smelling batch of Super Girl, a lightly spicy Sour Kush and a tangerine-sweet Agent Orange. While others were just mediocre, including the barely sour Sour Diesel I brought home and a few OG phenotypes that didn't have any of the must-have visual and olfactory qualities I love in OGs.
To the shop's credit, nothing smelled moldy or gross -- just rushed and unloved, like warehouse buds can be (though they don't have to be). Cannabis Station also kept things fair on pricing for the most part, including listing eighths and grams at the same cost per gram. And ounces were as low as $175. (The majority of the herb was selling for about $25-$35 an eighth.) My only gripe was the top-shelf eighths for $40; from what I saw, the cap should have been kept at $35. None of the prices include sales tax, but first-time patients get a 10 percent discount.
As for concentrates, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade -- and when your garden does the same, make some decent hash. For $15 a gram, Cannabis Station's strain-specific, crumbly icewater extraction was on the money for the quality. The shop also had some BHO on the shelf for $35 a gram, but something about the old-fashioned bubble was calling my name this week.
In all, Cannabis Station has the foundation for being a really cool medical cannabis shop, with a great downtown location, solid pricing and a fun atmosphere. But some more time in the garden is needed before I'll fill up there again.
Page down for this week's strain reviews and photos.