How do you normally celebrate New Year’s Day? If you’re anything like me, you crawl out of bed around noon, stumble your way to the kitchen for some water, a cup of coffee, a bloody mary, and six or seven ibuprofens. Still, if you’re anything like me, New Year’s Day does not sound like much of a celebration. On the other hand, if you are anything like the folks over at 3D Cannabis Center in North Denver, your last New Year’s Day was a moment in history. The 3D Cannabis Center (the D’s stand for “Denver’s Discreet Dispensary”) is located off of Brighton Boulevard, just south of I-70, literally in the shadow of the Denver Coliseum. I really wanted to check these folks out, being that they were the proprietors of the first bit of recreational marijuana ever sold (I found out that joint has since been donated to the Smithsonian Institute), on January 1st, 2014. They have been operating out of this north Denver location since October of 2010, when they were just a medicinal marijuana facility. Since their history-defining day at the beginning of this year, however, 3D Cannabis Center is strictly a recreational business. This doesn’t stop those guys from offering a myriad of discounts, though. I noticed a lot of signage for discounts if you’re a veteran, for example.
The dispensary has its own lot, which could easily contain several tailgate parties, which I’m sure it did on its opening week. Truly, walking into 3D Cannabis Center was like walking into the past. The place is rustic, with stucco-covered walls painted a dark brown, and wooden floors that creak as you walk over them. Large, beautiful prints of the Denver skyline hang on the walls. Did I mention the place is freakin’ enormous? The lobby itself is larger than many of the dispensaries I have been to.
After being instructed to visit the ATMs before venturing into the product room, I patiently waited in line to get a look at the different varieties of cannabis this place had to offer. Now, I found this a little odd. Rather than the traditional waiting rooms that most dispensaries employ, this place literally had a line that you stood on, and waited your turn. The dispensary is extremely high traffic, and they have several different bud rooms if the volume of customers is too high, so my wait was very short. Toni Fox, the owner of 3D Cannabis Center, noted that the wait times very rarely exceed five minutes, so worry not about tired legs.
I was shown around the product room by a bud tender and manager named Billy. “We have some of the best product in town, for the absolute best prices,” he said, with an assured look in his eye. He wasn’t kidding, either. These guys were selling full gram joints for ten dollars, which is about 33% less than anywhere else I’ve seen. He also commented on one of their most popular strains, the Lemon Skunk, which clocks in at an unheard of 29.5% THC. Not exactly what you’re looking for? At any given time, 3D Cannabis Center has around fifteen different strains of bud to choose from, and around sixty in rotation. Their eighths, at the time of this writing, were advertised for $50 pretax. From a recreational store, that price point is completely unheard of.
The dispensary gets their concentrates made from Mahatma, which is pretty much the gold standard of shatter and wax in the industry today. There are plenty of different types of concentrates to choose from. These folks also had plenty of edibles to sate your palate, from all the major companies, such as Edipure, Dixie, and Love’s. In the product room, there were quite a few different pieces of glass to choose from; pipes, to bongs, to bubblers, if you want to smoke your marijuana, 3D has you covered.
I think perhaps one of the most surreal experiences I have had in a dispensary to date must have happened as I was leaving 3D Cannabis Center. Now, I had read about their viewing hallway. In fact, their business card touts, “World’s Largest Cannabis Viewing Corridor.” On your way out, you are treated to a hallway, about one hundred feet long, where you can view a significant chunk of the dispensary’s growing operation. Am I in a museum, a greenhouse, a sideshow attraction, or a dispensary? Of any dispensary I have been in, 3D blurs those lines the most (which, in my opinion, is not necessarily a bad thing).
Standing in the corridor with Billy, it became very clear what 3D Cannabis Center stood for. It’s become his personal mission, he says, to educate anyone and everyone who comes in, all of the benefits of marijuana, as well as any other parts to the cannabis plant. “Anyone who does not know how to grow this plant in ten years will be left in the ‘Old World,’” Billy claimed. I thought this was an interesting perspective. Can education about marijuana really lead to a paradigm shift in the way we think about medicine, fuel, and society? Billy seems to think so.
It is a bit inspiring to hear about the customers that arrive at the 3D Cannabis Company. “We’ve had people from all over the world. From Spain, to Uruguay, they end up here. I have seen people roll up, in Georgia plates, at the crack of dawn. You can tell they’ve been through some shit, but they made it. They made it.” Indeed, Colorado’s first recreational spot has been a destination for drug tourism since its inception. But I’m telling you, whether you are from Colorado or not, 3D Cannabis Center is more than that. Sure, you might not feel the small and comfy vibe that you might experience at Denver’s more intimate shops, but it is truly an experience. It is a testament to what can happen to a company who has seen success, and then reinvests that monetary success back into their store, ensuring the most positive experience for each and every one of its customers. Now, I might have spent my last New Year’s Day as a hung-over mess, but that’s not how I’d like to spend my next one. I’m more interested, rather, in seeing what sort of exciting plans 3D Cannabis Company has in store.