Medical marijuana dispensary review: Karmaceuticals in Denver
Some of my most vivid summer memories involve going to the local plant nursery with my pops when I was a kid. But while recollections of hauling mulch or soil back to the family station wagon still linger, what stands out most to me is the olfactory reaction to the chemical aroma that bags of chemical plant fertilizer can put off. To this day, walking into the garden center of a Home Depot brings it all back in a weird way. Which isn't a bad thing when you're expecting it.
4 South Santa Fe Dr.
Denver, CO 80233
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Raw marijuana price range: $29-33/eighth-ounce, $190-$200/ounce.
Raw marijuana price range (members): $25/eighth-ounce, $180/ounce plus daily specials.
Other types of medicine: BHO, CO2 oil, kief, edibles, marijuana butter, tinctures, lotions, drinks.
Online menu? Yes, though it needs updating.
But when you're not expecting it -- as I wasn't when I walked into Karmaceuticals -- it can be completely overwhelming. I actually stood, confused, in the entryway for a second, thinking I had unknowingly entered one of the hydro stores that have popped up over the last few years. Instead of the usual dispensary regalia of pot pictures and green walls, the place looks (and smells) like the storage shed of a garden center, and no wonder. Pool and foosball tables take up most of the floor space, but there's still room for a huge rack of fertilizers and plant food from a handful of companies.
The rest of the lobby/entry/reception area/market was stocked with loads of everything you could ever imagine needing along with your herb, including in-house CO2-oil vape pens, tie-dye shirts, flat-brimmed hats, clones, nutrients, pipes, dabbers, domes, edibles, cultivation books, papers and grinders. It was like the Johnson's Corner of dispensaries -- though to be fair, Johnson's Corner is way less cluttered.
Two competing stereos fought it out inside, with the classic-rock Pandora station in the tiny bud room off to the side of the receptionist desk slightly edging out the '90s-rock Pandora station playing on the receptionist's computer. I looked around at the various knickknacks and checked out the in-house pen, the Instant Karma Veloce, which uses a cotton wick to draw oil from its reservoir into the heating element.
The granite-lined bud shelf from Karmaceuticals.
By the time I was sent back to the bud bar, the smell of chemical nutrients in the room was giving me a headache that was only compounded by the stuffy, hot bar. It was easily as hot in the room as it was outside in the afternoon sun on the pavement on Santa Fe, which didn't make browsing the tight, cluttered space very easy. Apparently, the shop normally has AC, but the power company was dragging ass to come out and fix whatever the problem happened to be.
There's not really a bar at Karmaceuticals, just a multi-level shelf unit with more than sixty different jars lined up. Patients are free to pull down any one they want and check it out on their own time. My budtender, an older woman who would have looked at home at an Allman Brothers show, mostly just stood by while I sniffed my way through about half of the jars, always finding something to say about every strain ("That's a good one" or "That's a very good one"). But not everything was "very good" or even "good." In fact, many of the strains were completely underdeveloped, and what was in the jars was down to the shakey bits and pieces. That was definitely true of the Triple Diesel, Blackberry (or possibly Black Karma) Kush and Lemon G.
Continue for the rest of the review, plus more photos.