Medical marijuana dispensary review: Karmaceuticals in Denver

Categories: Marijuana

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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.

Karmaceuticals L.L.C.

4 South Santa Fe Dr.
Denver, CO 80233
(303) 765-2762

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.
Handicap-accessible? Yes.

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.

The granite-lined bud shelf from Karmaceuticals.
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.

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.

Location Info


The Karmaceuticals Team

4 S. Santa Fe Dr., Denver, CO

Category: General

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My Voice Nation Help

I've been there, and was unimpressed with the place, the herb, and the professionalism of the staff. WB nailed it.


I have always had good luck with with Karmaceuticals, to bad you have to punch when they are trying to improve their place with construction.


I purchased Master Kush clones from  Karmaceuticals last year and brought them to flower -- they were quite excellent. Upon returning to the store, I was stuck by several unpleasant and unprofessional aspects of their business model and customer service approach:

1. The Master Kush clones that I had harvested and cured were vastly superior to the stock of the same plant/bud they sold on the shelf. The difference was so severe that for a few moments I wondered if they had given me another strain to grow: theirs was scrubby, leafy and nothing that I would ever pay money for. And yes, it was improperly cured and smelled of hay. If I had seen that before grabbing those clones I never would have brought them home. Their growers need training.

2. The woman who called herself the "clone mistress" did not wash or sterilize her hands after going outside to smoke a cigarette and before handling the clones, nor did she ask me to do so (I don't smoke....but I did just walk in). When I requested hand sanitizer she looked at me as if I was speaking French. Apparently no one at Karmaceuticals has ever heard of tobacco mosaic virus. For those of you also clueless -- don't smoke tobacco and garden. Hell, you shouldn't be smoking tobacco at all!

"The most common method of transferring the virus from plant to plant is on contaminated hands and tools. Workers who transplant seedlings should refrain from smoking during transplanting and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Tools used in transplanting can be placed in boiling water for 5 minutes and then washed with a strong soap or detergent solution. Dipping tools in household bleach is not effective for virus decontamination. Any seedlings that appear to have mosaic symptoms or are stunted and distorted should be removed and destroyed. After removing diseased plants, never handle healthy plants without washing hands and decontaminating tools used to remove diseased plants."

Obviously, I will not be purchasing clones from them again any time soon. They seem to be nice people and I wish them luck but they really need to work on their operation. 


this store is a crap store. This review was spot on from what I experienced. It's hard to excuse ALL the crap going on compared to just a few problems. This is on par with emerald city organics and lucky777 in the hay smell and crap taste experience.

William Breathes
William Breathes

And my reviews have nothing to do with who does or doesn't advertise with the paper

William Breathes
William Breathes

That's what was disappointing for me, Julie. People seem to really like the place, but I just wasn't impressed with the quality when I stopped by

Julie DonCarlos
Julie DonCarlos

They must have decided not to advertise or something. This review is way off base from my experience.

Francisco Sebastian
Francisco Sebastian

I say this is the best developed dispensary i've been into for a while, it seem like they are always upgrading! you cant sucker punch/review a place when its in the middle of a construction, soon it will blow all other dispensaries out of the water any day. Changes are coming.


@buddytending10I call total horseshit on your "hit 'em when their down" critique. It is a perfectly legitimate review: I have, as stated below, visited the shop a few times during the past two years and have found it to be exactly the way described above. Karmaceuticals has had these issues for quite awhile.

I will bet $ to donuts that at least half of the reviews here that say "whoa, lay off buddy!" were written by employees or friends of the shop.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@reeferaddict ... Lowlife Tobacco-sucking Addicts ain't the sharpest tacks in the box ... and care of nothing but their next nicotine fix.

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