Medical marijuana dispensary review: Southwest Alternative Care in Denver
So much has changed at Southwest Alternative Care since 2011 that it might as well be a new dispensary. The shop has moved from its strange loft above a mattress store to a stand-alone warehouse spot just a few miles east and expanded to a second location on Colfax. Plus, former head grower Scott Reach shifted to River Rock, where he's since expanded his Rare Dankness line.
But through it all, one thing has remained constant: the top-quality flowers being offered to patients.
Southwest Alternative CareI actually haven't been dispensary shopping out of necessity in a while, which is good, considering the shops I've been to over the last month had little to offer. But with caregiver meds running low, I needed to find something truly worthwhile to tide me over for the next week.
1075 S Fox St.
Denver, CO 80223
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6:50 p.m. daily.
Raw marijuana price range (members): $20-25/eighth-ounce, $175/ounce cap. Non-members pay about 10 percent more.
Other types of medicine: BHO, shatter, hash, edibles.
Online menu? No.
The building is pretty nondescript out front. There's no huge, obnoxious sign or gallons of green paint covering the front of the building. It fits in with the other warehouses surrounding it, and I doubt many people filling up at the Conoco next door even know why there is a steady flow of people coming and going. Meanwhile, the gas station itself is likely doing well from all of the ATM transactions, as SWAC doesn't take cards and has no cash machine on site.
Normally, dispensaries either smell like skunk butts, fertilizer or hay, depending on the quality of bud being sold. Southwest Alternative Care might very well fall in the skunk category, but the day I visited, it had more of a sesame-chicken vibe going from the boxed Chinese-food lunches the three employees were grubbing. After handing my card over to the receptionist behind the glass partition in the entry, I was buzzed through to "the couch," as they referred to their waiting room. It makes sense, as there's not much else in there besides a couch, a few magazines and the doors to the customer/employee bathrooms. I waited on a patient to finish up ahead of me and was called further back to the bud bar after the guy ahead of me finished up and walked out.
The shop was to-the-point but still managed to be comfortable and welcoming. Ganja was displayed in small sample jars set out on a large, curved, belly-high counter. Edibles were on a display rack to the side and the shop kept all the paraphernalia in a cabinet along a separate wall. Concentrates were on display in a little dish; the shop had a few grams of some decent-looking wax and shatter from Native Roots going for $25 and $30 a gram.
Cherry Diesel hash.
Southwest also produces its own excellent bubble hash, with blends and strain-specific options separated out by the micron filtration level. I haven't seen good icewater-made hash in a long time at a dispensary and immediately jumped at the 70 micron Cherry Diesel, which looked like crumble of lightly melted caramel and smelled nearly as sweet. The chunk of hash broke down like a warm crayon and melted about as smoothly into the bowl, the huge bubbles accompanied by a notably strong earthy-Diesel flavor.
Continue for the rest of the review and photos.