Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Health Center University Hills
The Health Center's two locations couldn't be more drastically different in form, with the Uptown branch giving off a quaint, cozy, neighborhood vibe and the University Hills outlet coming off as much more straightforward and businesslike.
But what unites them is what matters most: quality cannabis and low prices worth making the dispensaries your primary centers.
The Health Center University HillsThe Uptown shop takes up the bottom floor of a two-story building far to the south down Colorado Boulevard, with a few spots out front for parking and more in the back after squeezing through a narrow alleyway. There are signs everywhere warning people against parking next door at Junkman, which is apparently fond of towing cars.
2777 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
Raw marijuana price range: $8-$10/gram $30-$32/eighth-ounce, $175-$200/ounce.
Other types of medicine: Edibles, lotions, tinctures, wax, shatter oil (from both trim and bud), clones.
Online menu? Yes.
I made the mistake of cruising down at the height of rush hour, which not only meant getting stuck in traffic, but sitting in line at the center as three people ahead of me took their sweet time at the bud bar. To their credit, the budtenders treated everyone the same and didn't rush anyone out the door. It's just that when you're ready to get home at the end of the day, hearing another patient holding you up over a family story that has nothing to do with medical marijuana can be a bit much.
After fifteen minutes of sifting through a few pot-centric magazines lying around in the simple, clean and coffee-stocked waiting room, the receptionist behind the counter gave me the green light. The first little room is set up as a plant nursery, albeit a fancy one, with stylish wood, steel-and-frosted-glass counters and lightboxes.
I've been told by several readers over the years that the Health Center's University Hill's location is the place to go for clones. But the selection on hand when I stopped by wasn't huge, with William's Wonder and a strain I don't recall up for $15 a pop. My budtender said there had been some health issues with the last crop of clones. That left just a few survivors growing in a cabinet behind an auxiliary bud bar in a separate room devoted strictly to the clones.
The bud bar is in a similarly small room, with glass display cabinets separating the budtenders from the patients. I was there at the same time as the woman who had walked in ahead of me; she occupied the concentrates counter on the left while I took up most of the space on the right as I looked at the roughly two dozen strains sealed in hinge-top Mason jars and pop-top square glass containers. Like THC's Uptown shop, bud is broken into two price tiers based not on quality so much as it is on quantity. There are also a few discount strains going for less.
First-timers get patient pricing, which brings things down to really reasonable (if not cheap) pricing on some pretty decent ganja. Frankly, I stopped by the shop this week mostly because I knew what I could expect and hoped it still lived up to what I remembered.
Thankfully, it did.
Up first was an Island Sweet Skunk phenotype with this billing: "Rupert: -- an outstanding name for just about anything, including pets, cars, children and, now, cannabis." In typical ISS fashion, it was very fruity and skunky, but it also had a slightly musky haziness to both the smell and flavor out of a clean dry pipe. I only snagged a gram of it (hence the tiny buds pictured), but you can still see the neon-orange pistils and beach-sand-colored trichomes dusting the lime-green buds. It's one of my all-time favorite kick-starters for a failing appetite, and I only needed two or three hits to get the belly growling within ten minutes. As ISS can be, it was also very uplifting mentally, if not borderline spacey.