Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Purple Dragon in Denver
One of the first dudes I ever got stoned with in high school was a super metal-head named Eric who was into Dungeons and Dragons, wizards, warlocks and Tolkein novels. His room at his mom's house, where we would smoke after school, was a tribute to all of these things, featuring black-light posters, Graffix skull bongs and and a collection of dragon statues and figurines. It's been twenty years, but I distinctly remember a large lavender-and-green beast breathing a plume of orange fire out of it's mouth.
I really wanted that dude with his long goatee to be behind the counter at Purple Dragon when I walked in the door. He wasn't, but that turned out to be my only real disappointment.
The Purple DragonThe shop's decorators took its name literally. The purple paint on the old, one-inch brick façade and the dayglo orange green and orange you encounter are goofy and out of touch even on this stretch of Federal, which is blown-out with huge signs and colorful buildings. There's parking out front, though something tells me that the woman tending to the lawn of her home next door who gave me the stink eye as I walked out of my car would rather it not be so close to her garden.
2243 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80211
Hours:10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Raw marijuana price range: $7-$8.50/gram $25-$30/eighth-ounce, $160-$185/ounce. Members receive 10 percent off purchase.
Other types of medicine: Hash oil, bubble hash (weekends only), edbiles, tinctures, drinks.
Online menu? Yes, though not regularly updated.
The view through the security window inside was confusing at first: The room on the other side looked deserted, with empty shelves and no bud in the display cabinets. But when I buzzed the door, a woman came from around the corner, smiled at me and let me in after checking my card and ID. She then led me through the strangely abandoned room up front to the actual bud bar.
The display cases are set up in a "C"-shape, with bud and hash oil kept below the main counter; glass, papers and other accessories are in another, and edibles can be found in a third glass display case. The place is covered in posters for edibles products, weed-related art and other trappings more suited for a college dorm. But whatever. You can't expect hippies to not run pot shops, right?
The woman who had let me in was also my budtender. She handed my card off to a blond woman already behind the counter, who checked me in while my budtender and I checked out the eight-to-ten strains on hand. Apparently, that's a low number for the shop, and this claim was somewhat backed by the dozens of pre-made, colorful jar labels from other strains tacked on a back-wall board. Buds are broken down into two price ranges, based on which strains are (and aren't) grown in Canna nutrients and soil. The lower-priced, regular-soil strains sold at $7 a gram and $25 an eighth, so we started there.
Blue Cheese, Flo and "OG Kush" were the first three two-ounce sized stock jars the budtender laid out on the counter for me. I wasn't expecting much, but the jar of Flo set the tone right away with some amazingly ripe and plump buds stinking with the distinctive lavender odor. The ambiguously-named "OG Kush" jar was also decent, though more hashy and spicy smell-wise than the usually rubbery and earthy scents this strain should put out. The Cheese was the only jar not worth considering, and only then because it was down to the last wispy little quarter-ounce or so. Yet the buds still let out a solid, funky moldy cheese odor and had a dusting of silver trichomes all over each and every popcorn-sized bit.
Girl Scout Cookies from The Purple Dragon.
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