Medical marijuana dispensary review: Element Four20 in Denver

element420-front-square.jpg
Of all the dispensaries on Federal, Element420 is arguably the most obvious. If you've driven the strip between Alameda and 6th Avenue any time over the last couple of years, you've seen the large lime-green building, which sits higher than the nearby strip center and almost juts over Federal like a beach house without a beach. There are huge Evolab hash oil banners hung from the bottom of the porch and a handful of green crosses plastered in various spots around the place, in case you missed the point.

Element Four20

82 South Federal Boulevard
Denver, CO 80219
ElementFour20.com

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $12/gram $30-$40/eighth-ounce, $190/ounce.
Other types of medicine: CO2 oil, edibles, tinctures.
Online menu? Yes.

I've consciously avoided the shop for this long mostly because I find going to shops so blatantly telling the world that they sell marijuana by way of an abundance of green paint and dozens of signs tend to disappoint. But like an annoying pop song on the radio that grows on you, I eventually had to stop in.

element420-front.jpg
There's more of the same tropical, borderline-neon green in the lobby, with a black leather couch-and-chair setup by the receptionist window, where I sat while the twenty-something girl behind the counter took my information. Aside from the eye-burning green, the little waiting room was clean and tidy, with a faint smell of house cleaner and ganja fighting it out in my nose as I sat watching the never-ending traffic zoom past. Someone has a fascination with extraterrestrials, because there are pictures of big-eyed, gray aliens scattered here and there like in a South Park episode.

element420-budbar.jpg
Compared to the loud waiting room and exterior appearance, the bud bar was a warm, inviting lounge pleasantly absent of almost anything green. Instead, a few posters (including more alien images) were hung up on the red, blue and gray walls, and the only green was the herb in the dozen or so jars occupying the black, glass-faced display cabinets. The shop's hydroponic-grown ganja is kept in one case, while edibles, pipes and a load of in-house produced concentrates are in another.

My budtender was well versed in what she sold and went into detail about the oils, which apparently are a huge reason people go to the shop. The MMC had a huge selection of strain-specific and blended-strain vials all the same color and consistency -- which seems strange to me considering all other hash and concentrates tend to vary in color depending on the color of the original strain. My budtender didn't go into detail on that, but she did make a point of saying other shops that sell CO2 oil dilute it with glycerol "to make more money off of it."

element420.wax.jpg
Orange CO2 wax.
There were two consistencies: a semi-viscous oil and globs of waxy, cheese-looking budder. But I just couldn't bring myself to spend $35 to $40 for a full gram of CO2 oil when I've never really had that great an experience with it. Every time I've had it, the oil sputters and splatters on a hot titanium nail from too much moisture.

Meanwhile, the waxy globs selling for $40 looked unnaturally orange for a cannabis product. I know some people swear by this stuff, and maybe I should have given it a chance -- but it would have been much easier to do if ElementFour20 had half-grams for half the price. Yes, I'm cheap. So is most every other medical marijuana patient out there shopping around for cannabis on Federal.

The shop also stocks a lot of oil toys, including several e-pens and an oil rig with a titanium nail for a reasonable $150. The budtender said the rigs come with a warranty from the glassblower, who's also the inventor/seller of an electric-heated titanium nail called the ElectroDabber. We caught one in use at the High Times Cannabis Cup and it seemed to work pretty well -- as it should given the $400 price tag.

Page down for the rest of the review and photos.


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39 comments
Phil Smith
Phil Smith

Its also the only good dispenary on federal too.

lu4ck4y4
lu4ck4y4

Come on, Billy Breathes....we both know you sampled some of The Clinic's "Green Gold" caviar that was priced at $150/gram back in the day (Westword on Green Gold) . I think it's safe to say if a place has a huge banner out front promoting their CO2 extractions, it's probably THE product they are known for, seems like most dispensaries went butane...and never looked back. However many panels High Times wants to have...you can't deny that butane extractions have a particular smell and taste that is less than natural. Go back and try the oils, if you need an excuse to treat yourself, it is almost 7/10...just dab it.

Analjuice
Analjuice

@lu4ck4y4 


You fucking moron. SCLabs in Cali tested a cashed bowl that was smoked using a bic lighter. It contained roughly 6% butane/propane and lots of other harmful shit. Then they tested cashed bowl of bubble hash where it tested 12%


Well made shatter or honeycomb will have absolutely 0 residual solvents. Especially if you are using mercaptin free butane.


C02 oil is for homeless people. they dont care as long as it gets them high. it all tastes the same and smokes like shit. i love how these morons drop 100k on a super/sub critical machine that fucking sucks


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@lu4ck4y4 "you can't deny that butane extractions have a particular smell and taste that is less than natural."

Bullshit!

Properly done, BHO has NO BUTANE left over in the oil. Butane EVAPORATES at ~31 degrees F, so standing at room temperature, or accelerated in a vacuum chamber, will eliminate the butane from the oil extract.

n-Butane, being a clean, light, non-polar solvent, dissolves the THC in and from the trichomes, leaving all the extraneous unwanted, inactive plant material, chlorophyll, starches and water based components behind. Resulting in a near transparent golden honey-like oil of 80%+ THC.

The problem with CO2 extractions is that the range of temperature/pressures is so huge that most times the operator ends up pulling water based plant components, starches and waxes into the extract -- which is why the weird orange color is a telltale sign of less than optimal CO2 extractions.

And as Bongsucker Billy pointed out, often sputtering and splattering when dabbed onto a nail rig, as the unwanted water trapped in the extract boils and pops through the oil when heated.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Analjuice "morons drop 100k on a super/sub critical machine that fucking sucks"

... then, instead of admitting their galactic mistake, seek out special self-serving LEGISLATION that would prohibit and criminalize others who weren't so fucking stupid, using lies and deception to promote their chicanery. 


somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay"Bullshit!

Properly done, BHO has NO BUTANE left over in the oil."

That assumes that most shops and indivduals are doing things properly, and considering the amount of wax out there (which really isn't a finished stage of oil) and the scary youtube videos of idiots -- most aren't.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GuestWho "Gets hard ..."

You felt that, eh? ... all up inside you ...


GuestWho
GuestWho

@DonkeyHotay  <<<< Gets hard over a shatter hash discussion. LMAO. You're stoned again aren't you?  

Analjuice
Analjuice

@DonkeyHotay MIPS don't have the same overhead problems dispensaries do. When you recycle mercaptin free butane it also reduces your overhead. MIPS are allowed 500 plants from the getgo, or 1000 with an additional OPC. When you, as a MIP, can not ever have your buds see the light of day, you blast truckloads of plants.....AND YOU DONT HAVE TO TRIM.

Bottom line, it is impossible to keep up with demand for super clean shatter that you can see through. Pick up a high times.... nobody cares about buds anymore... its all about that ERRRL




DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Analjuice "It costs me less than $300 to produce a pound ..."

I bet it does. 

But if you were forced to add all the financial overhead and burdens that Dispensaries suffer from REGULATIONS THEY Begged for ... indoor industrial warehouse rents, high-wattage inefficient incandescent lights consuming environmentally hostile coal-fired electricity, massive HVAC units to combat the heat generated from those hot incandescent lights, huge license fees and taxes, etc, etc, you'd find out what many "easy money" dispensary fools have discovered -- that all the REGULATORY overhead and idiocy of INDOOR HID growing drives their average production costs to around $600 / lb, and that's not including $100 - $200 / lb for trimming.


@Analjuice "I can get a good 100 grams of Shatter from my nug run +/- 10%.."

Quite impressive, since trichome covered sweetleaf trim usually yields around 50-60 grams of oil per pound.


@Analjuice "i sell grams for 35-40 wholesale... "

Don't lose those suckers -- I mean customers -- as WHOLESALE oil has been selling for $4k - $5k per pound for a few years now. Retail dispensaries offer it in the $20 - $35 range any day of the week. There is quite a glut of it on the market.

Turning salable kind BUD into oil has never been cost effective, given the 7x - 10x reduction in weight, not including costs to process the oil. The profit point always was turning non-marketable TRIM, Shake, undesirable Flurf and Popcorn buds into oil, since in large grows it was always regarded as trash.

Oil and Concentrates always were, and remain, the BEST VALUE for the CONSUMER -- by far -- on a dollars per THC comparison to bud:  20% THC bud vs. 80% THC oil ... the oil isn't 4x as expensive as the bud at retail.





Analjuice
Analjuice

@DonkeyHotay @Analjuice 

It costs me less than $300 to produce a pound of herb. This accounts for all overhead except for labor...


I can get a good 100 grams of Shatter from my nug run +/- 10%.... i sell grams for 35-40 wholesale... Been getting between 3 and 4k per pound that way...


It is quality in quality out. Lots of people fail hard on this part.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Analjuice ... even for Mexicans, you'd think they'd have realized that their smuggling logistics -- weight / volume -- could be reduced by a factor of 10 if they'd simply make concentrate from those massive bales.

The last Mex brick weed lab test I saw came in at a surprising 11% THC, and at only $500 - $800 / lb, making it a FAR BETTER bang for the buck in THC / $.

They'd eliminate all the negative cosmetics and superficial nonsense of the pretentious Dope Connoisseurs and outproduce and outperform the entire U$ domestic market in THC / $

In the end, a gram of 80% purified THC oil knows not from how much raw product was required to make it.

It wouldn't surprise me if some Retail Dispensary owners have already caught on to the fact that extracting from purchased commercial Mex is more cost effective than growing and extracting from their own supply.




Analjuice
Analjuice

@DonkeyHotay @Analjuice 


Lets be honest. C02 oil fucking sucks. Pre loaded pens fucking suck. Once the mexicans catch on to some nicely made shatter.... you guys are fucked

somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay 

Do you get permission from someone to come on here and whine for other people day in and day out?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay "He's talking about the smell of all of the waxes, which people should be filtering out. They do have a particular smell - that of burning wax."

Keep sniffing that wax.

btw -- did "he" authorize you to whine for him?

somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay

Again with your reading comprehension FAIL. I never said I smoked shitty extracts.

Why do you resort to lies and deception in conversation like a Republican?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay ... so why do you continue to buy shitty extracts from fools, then whine about it?


somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay

::slow clap::

I think he's finally getting it, folks.

Now, let me explain the rest to you in simple terms:

Just because it isn't the fault of the butane doesn't mean there isn't plenty of shitty butane extraction out there at dispensaries and made by private individuals.

See how that works? Great. Now, run along and have a cookie.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay "have always pointed out that it's human error that is causing the issues."

So you admit that n-Butane makes for a most excellent purified THC OIL extraction from cannabis, and that your primary complaint is with the incompetency of clueless stoners in general.

Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay @somesay"So people do smoke wax?"

Idiots ... just like some people smoke schwag.

HipTip: some people smoke Meth too ... don't make it the smart thing to do.

somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay Also, I've never once blamed butane for anything here and have always pointed out that it's human error that is causing the issues.

How many times did you repeat high school English? Because you clearly should have been held back an additional time.

somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay

So people do smoke wax? I thought you said they didn't?

Which is it and why do you keep failing so hard?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay = makes shit up, like a typical know-nothing bong-sucking stoner

Go suck some wax, chump.

somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay

That's right, remain ignorant to reality and keep coming off like a complete fucking moron.

It seems to help your FAILED argument.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay = still blaming butane for the failure of the clueless stoners who can't even preform a simple evaporation.

Post the "tests" that have shown "plenty of residual butane" in waxes.

Then tell us what idiots are still purchasing and using waxes, which are the dirty schwag of the purified oil genre.


somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay

...except that tests have shown there is plenty of residual butane in waxes and shatters even when people think they are doing them corectly. 

 Do some fucking homework if you want to talk like a big boy.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ThinkFastTalkSlow ... so you finally admit that n-Butane is the preferred solvent for clean purified cannabis oil extractions.

And there there is no "extraneous smell" as the butane itself is completely evaporated from the final product, leaving nothing but the natural components.




somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotayNo, you fucking moron, the topic was "butane extractions" in general -- of which waxes are included. Scroll up and see for yourself:

"you can't deny that butane extractions have a particular smell and taste that is less than natural."

Try to fucking keep up, child.

ThinkFastTalkSlow
ThinkFastTalkSlow

@DonkeyHotay@ThinkFastTalkSlow @Donkey "Nonsense. n-Butane is the preferred method of essential oil extraction, not just for marijuana, but for many essential oils. It's been used in that industry for DECADES."  

I would think given your senior citizen status, you would know that essential oils have been around a lot longer than butane or supercritical extractors. 

Do you really think our generation is the first to extract cannabis? Even more comical to think we are the best....

You seem to like trees, not forests....


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay @DonkeyHotay @ThinkFastTalkSlow 

The topic under discussion was OIL, numbnuts, not waxes.

What idiots would purchase or use WAXES ?

There are NO WAXES -- solid esters -- or residual butane in properly extracted BHO, hence no extraneous "smell".

Because YOU and your stoner pals don't comprehend proper n-Butane extractions, doesn't mean that others don't.

If you've got extraneous smells and contaminants, you didn't do it right.

Stop blaming the Butane for the mistakes of clueless nitwits.


somesay
somesay

@DonkeyHotay @ThinkFastTalkSlow He's talking about the smell of all of the waxes, which people should be filtering out. They do have a particular smell - that of burning wax.

When you get a clue what YOU are yammering about, give us a shout.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ThinkFastTalkSlow "But no your [sic] right"

Epic Stoner Fail.

So were they doing Supercritical CO2 extractions in 2727 B.C.E. ... or were they cluelessly yammering about "residual tastes" of n-Butane extractions.


ThinkFastTalkSlow
ThinkFastTalkSlow

@DonkeyHotay @ThinkFastTalkSlow 

 Ahhhhhhhhhh..... nothing says time-proven like the word "DECADES". 

Especially when its in all caps. And especially when the plant you are extracting has been used medicinally since 2727 B.C.E.

But no your right, I'm sure that the technology  we've  developed in the last 200 years totally supersedes  MILLENIAS of applied medicinal applications....

Still no word on that science degree, must still be in the mail.....I'm sure it will get there soon. 

 But at least we now know you both are male, over the age of 40, and have a @aol  or @hotmail email url.

>Yammer on HipCat<  

 


 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ThinkFastTalkSlow"only that butane extractions have a particular smell."

There is no "particular smell" if there is no residual butane, other than the smell of the extracted oil itself.

Ipso facto.


@ThinkFastTalkSlow "In 3 years butane hash will go the way of hammer pants"

Nonsense. n-Butane is the preferred method of essential oil extraction, not just for marijuana, but for many essential oils. It's been used in that industry for DECADES.


HipTip: when you have no idea what you're yammering about, stop yammering.


ThinkFastTalkSlow
ThinkFastTalkSlow

@DonkeyHotay@somesay

Slow your roll La Mancha, we like you better chasing windmills over just being an ass.

 Lucky’s comment mentioned nothing about butane residuals or impurities. It simply stated that butane hash has a distinct smell, and I agree, dabs smell like burnt plastic. And however well researched your argument is, it does seem a little too well rehearsed….someone has been mounting the same defense for awhile.

 You attempt to detract on the “technical limitations” of CO2 extractors reveals more about your favoritism than it does your scientific knowledge. I don’t know what it is you do for a living….other than comment on Westword blogs…but I’m guessing you don’t have a science degree hanging on the wall.

 First of all, any physicist will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum…not even in interstellar space. And second, any phase change (liquid to gas for example) takes energy.Thirdly, what "properties" are the simplest of variables pressure and temperature altering? And what are they altering? There's alot of "properties" going on in any molecule....but they are much easier to alter with a chemical reaction (ahem....butane) versus manipulating the elements of Boyle's Law.

Butane purges are subject to the same fundamental laws of energy/matter/mass as CO2 extractors are…or any refining process for that matter. And therefore, they experience those same “technical limitations”.

Nothing is perfect. Humans are flawed. And machines and extractions are both made by us flawed beings. 

In 3 years butane hash will go the way of hammer pants….but I’ve heard that Donkeys tend to be 2legit2quit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@somesay "That assumes that most shops and indivduals are doing things properly"

Same could be said of the complicated and fickle operation of Supercritical (or sub-c) CO2 extraction machines out there, with the MYRIAD high pressure/temperature gradients, each of which distinctly alters the properties of the solvent, and hence the components of the extract.

Considering the wide variance of contaminated water-logged CO2 extractions on the selves, it obvious that those over-hyped ultra-expensive devices aren't the holy grail promoted by their manufacturers/owners.

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