Medical marijuana dispensary review: LoDo Wellness Center in Denver

LWC-front.jpg
LoDo Wellness.
There's a correlation between my increasing age and the decreasing amount of time I spend in downtown Denver. As I creep toward my mid-thirties, traffic becomes increasingly less tolerable, restaurants become more pretentious and overpriced, and parking becomes something I dread more than in-law visits. In short: Aside from the occasionally Rockies game during the summer, I'm never downtown anymore, and I'm just fine with that.

LoDo Wellness may change that, however.

LoDo Wellness Center

1617 Wazee St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 534-5020
LoDoWellnessCenter.com

Raw marijuana price range (members): $9/gram $30/eighth-ounce, $195/ounce.
Raw marijuana price range (non-members): $10/gram $35/eighth-ounce, $125/ounce.
Other types of medicine: Wax ($25/gram), shatter oil ($30/gram), edibles.
Online menu? Yes.
Handicap-accessible? No.

The dispensary is down a steep flight of stairs from the sidewalk to the basement of the building. The dispensary takes up the entire floor, tucking patient lounges in between massive structural columns and pushing couches up against the massive painted bricks used for the foundation of the former paper mill. Much like Boulder Wellness in Boulder, the shop has gone for an Eastern Buddhist/Zen theme with low painted chairs, squatting Buddha statues and colorful framed posters with vaguely Hindu symbols. There was also a huge, seven-foot-tall antique-looking ceramic vase painted with what looked like a life-sized crane. In my head, I could see a massive cannabis tree fitting in perfectly.

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Bud bar at LoDo Wellness.
What the smooth, peaceful vibe of the decor fails to do is mask the immense size of everything. I was the only person at LWC during my visit, but even if there had been a sizable line of three or four people ahead of me, I could have had an entire lounge off in a corner to myself. In a way, it felt like a marijuana dispensary pop-up shop had taken over a South Broadway antique store specializing in Asian crafts.

After a receptionist at a wooden desk off to one side of the expansive room quickly copied my paperwork, I was sent over to the bud bar through an open door in an adjacent room. As in the rest of the basement, huge foundation beams separate out some of the wall space and room. But the bud bar itself is set up on a set of antique, heavy wooden dining tables.

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Kandy Kush shatter from LoDo Wellness/Top Shelf Extracts.
My budtender was a ponytailed dude named Ryan (I think), who let me have at the dozen or so jars stacked for display. Everything LoDo Wellness produces is grown in a coco/soil mix according to the 'tender, and all but two strains were from the center's garden. (Those two were from DANK, which got high marks back in July of 2012 when we last stopped by their shop in north Denver.) Indica-dominant strains are kept on the left, while sativas were on the right of the small tiered display. A Plexiglas case for hash was placed in the middle of the table and separated the two stacks of herb. Hash selection was slim pickings when I showed up, with only a single $35 gram of Kandy Kush shatter and a lone $30 gram of blended wax on hand.

But the single gram of golden, frozen oil, produced by Top Shelf Extracts from trim out of the LoDo Wellness garden, was some of the best I've seen from that company, and I instantly snatched it up. Very clear, very clean and very tasty, the oil burned with a kushy, earthy flavor on the head of a hot titanium nail. Small, BB-sized dabs were enough to put me right for a couple of hours, though the mouthwatering taste dictated that I always take at least two dabs at a time. I've been trying to stay away from waxes and oils in favor of icewater extractions lately, but I think I made the right decision this week.

Continue for the rest of the review and photos.

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