Medical Marijuana Dispensary Review: The Green Solution in Denver
The Green Solution's dual recreational and medical shop on West Alameda reminds me of an old-school shopping mall. There's the Spencer's Gifts side, with the random assortment of pot-related stuff like Green Solution sandals, novelty pot leaf ice cube trays and other trinkets: Who knew you could make a pipe out of a Frisbee? Then there's the Apple store influence for the shop's relatively clean layout of pot, edibles and concentrates and upbeat, hip-looking associates. And then you've got the Abercrombie and Fitch aspect: blasting music that makes you want to shop quickly and get out.
The Green Solution on the first day of recreational cannabis sales.
The Green Solution (Denver location)The shop is dual-use, so if you're a patient under 21, you're going to have to go elsewhere. Check-in for both patients and recreational customers is up front right when you walk in the door. Patients and rec customers also shop next to one another, though there are certain display cabinets designated for the former and others for the latter. The selection of bud is much higher on the recreational end, with dozens of strains to select from compared to the ten or so medical bud options tucked into the corner of one display.
2601 W. Alameda Avenue
Denver, CO 80219
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Raw marijuana price range: $11-14/gram $28-$40/eighth-ounce, $170-$230/ounce. Members receive 10 percent off purchase.
Other types of medicine: Wax, shatter, edibles, drinks, topicals, clones ($20).
Online menu? Yes.
Recreational sales? Yes.
The Green Solution has a flow to it. That is to say, you're fed through it in a way that passes you by everything for sale. There wasn't a line when we were in, but normally customers que up like cattle behind a barrier to wait for a budtender to let them through the rope and over to the edibles counter to start before herding you past the buds and paraphernalia before you end up back at the front of the room at the cashier. I've driven past the place when the line was out the door, so it's safe to say the staff's got the process down to a science by now.
As I've made abundantly clear over the years, I'm not an edibles fan. But I do like what The Green Solution is doing with edibles through the line dubbed Infuzions. They offer single-serving treats with 10 milligrams of herb for under $5 each, most for around $3.50. I recently reviewed a few of them for an edition of our quasi-regular dispensary guide, The Chronicle, and was impressed with the flavor and potency. I think Infuzions are a great way for people who don't eat their pot often to comfortably enjoy edibles.
The Car Bomb Cupcake, for example, is a wonderfully ambitious micro-sized chocolate cupcake made with Irish cream and a smooth, vanilla icing. At least, that's how the photo on the package looks. In practice, the smooshed, crumbly little cake with crispy chunks of icing stuck to the inside like bubblegum under a shoe needs some work. But despite the store-bought chocolate cake mix that was overly dry, one could definitely taste the bud in the bite and I wouldn't be surprised to find out these had a little bit more than 10 milligrams in a test. The Root Beer Pops fared a little better, though not by much. The lollipop-sized round bits of dark cake smelled identically to a Barq's root beer, though and the crispy vanilla frosting shell - while cracked and broken - was the perfect way to balance out what would have otherwise been too rich of a treat. Nowhere near as hashy-tasting as the Car Bomb, the Root Beer Pops still had some strength as they noticeably ratcheted up the small buzz the 'Bombs started. Hands-down the best was the Strawberry Truffle. The white chocolate shell on the outside melted the minute it touched my tongue and the strawberry filling was fresh and sweet with only a light taste of bud that was completely drowned out by the rich, creamy sweetness.Moving on to concentrates. There were several strain-specific waxes and shatters on display, all behind a glass shelf sitting about face-high for me. When I wanted to take a closer look, my budtender set them on the top of the counter, forcing me to get on my toes to see, since the crew doesn't really want you handling the jars. I feel bad for anyone under six feet.
There wasn't anything outstanding about the waxes and one of the supposed grams of shatter I saw was cloudy and waxy but still going for $40 a gram. I said something like, "Nope, I'd rather go with something cleaner" and turned toward the bud. "You know wax is more pure than shatter, right?" my butender asked me over the music after pulling out a gram of their shatter that had gone cloudy and telling me that it had turned back to wax.
My jaw would have hit the counter had the counter not been at the same height as my forehead. I briefly tried to explain to him the concept of de-waxing to make more pure oil before giving up and moving on from the concentrates shelf all together. It's not my job to inform their staffers on what they are selling, though I do wish that The Green Solution would give the budtenders a quick rundown on not only the potency but the processes. The only thing I would have liked to sample was the 73 micron icewater hash, but at $35-plus for a half-gram, it was too overpriced to consider.