Brand new dispensaries are always interesting to visit, because there seems to be quite the dichotomy in these brand new stores. On the one hand, you have the stores that are still handing you product out of boxes, using sandwich bags to give you your product, and are typically barely more than a barren white room. When looking through a dispensary like the one I just described, it’s hard not to pity them in a “bless their hearts… at least they’re trying!” sort of way. On the other hand, you have places like Chronic Therapy in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Though they’ve only been around since March of this year, it’s clear to see that they have it together. What is “it”, exactly? Though still lacking some essentials in the store, Chronic Therapy has the potency of product, as well as the customer-centric attitude that reminds me why the marijuana industry is so fresh and exciting.
Wheat Ridge should be a destination for any marijuana enthusiasts living in the western suburbs of Denver. If you are looking for recreational marijuana, Wheat Ridge should be your go-to option, as it is sandwiched between Lakewood and Golden; two spots that currently do not allow the recreational sale of marijuana. Chronic Therapy is situated right on the edge of Crown Hill Park in Wheat Ridge, and has its very own parking. I was charmed to see signs outside that asked customers to respect the neighborhood and the park by waiting until they are home to enjoy their purchases. The lobby is smartly decorated with a few oversized chairs and classy art prints. The walls are a nice cream color, and the entire room was well-lit from the large windows in the entrance. I was happy enough to meet Jacques Cousteau, the French Bulldog mascot to the dispensary, as he was wagging his imaginary tail at the various customers waiting in the lobby. After getting checked in, I was brought through a sliding door into the product room.
For speed of service, Chronic Therapy has four identical stations to make purchases at. I was lucky enough to discuss some of the product offerings with Jason, one of the store owners. At the time of my visit, Jason had thirteen strains available for purchase at a modest $17/gram for every strain. For smokers interested in buying larger quantities of flower, Chronic Therapy also has ounce sales for $100 cheaper than their regular ounces. During my visit, you could pick up an entire ounce of Sage & Sour for just $200 plus tax. If you are a regular recreational shopper, you’ll understand how great of a deal that can be. For smokers interested in rolling joint after joint after joint, take a look at their shake specials. You can find strain-specific or blended shake for only $10/gram. Finally, I was really excited to take a look at their Bruce Banner, which tested in at a staggering 27% THC. Of these strains, it did appear that they were mostly sativa-dominant hybrids, but there was no shortage of variety in their selection.
Looking through the display cases, you will find many of the usual major names in edibles: IncrEdibles, Love’s Oven, and BlueKudu chocolates were plentiful and in strong supply. Then, as I kept looking, my jaw hit the ground. Next to the edibles were the concentrates, produced by Mahatma. Now, anyone who has tried Mahatma concentrates can quickly understand why they are winning every award you can think of, and dab lovers will not hesitate in paying upwards of $60 per gram of the golden goodness. However, Chronic Therapy has their Mahatma wax and shatter available for $35 per gram. Listen, I don’t care who you are, but getting out the door with a gram of Mahatma shatter for less than $50 is an absolute steal. As far as smoking products, it’s worth mentioning that Chronic Therapy has several different choices in vape pens and cartridges, but as far as their smoking devices, they were running rather low. Aside from a small selection of dab rigs and chillums, there was not much in the way of glass.
Chronic Therapy in Wheat Ridge has been a purely recreational dispensary since July 2nd, 2014, but Red Card holders do receive discounts at the dispensary. I think this is one of the more charming aspects of the dispensary. From owner Jason, to his business partners, to seeing the close ties between all of the bud tenders and managers on site, Chronic Therapy embodies, in my opinion, what it means to be a family run small business. Jason fondly recalled his humble beginnings as a caregiver in his garage, and with the support of his family, and his close friends, was eventually able to open his doors as a retail storefront. Over and over again it was mentioned to me the dispensary’s pride in their product. “I will not sell something if it tests lower than 17% THC,” Jason told me as I thumbed through the month’s test results. While he holds down the fort up front, Jason does have experience in the attached grow operation, giving the customer the comfort and ease of knowing that the people up front have a perfectly good idea of what they are selling.
As I said before, it can be a little bit of a spin of the roulette wheel when going into newer retail stores, whether they sell paninis, t-shirts, or cannabis. Unfortunately, more often than not, the new place is barely operating with a skeleton crew at all times. Fortunately, for the residents of western Denver, Golden, Lakewood, and Wheat Ridge, Chronic Therapy does not fit into this mold. True, I would have liked to see a greater glass selection, but when it comes to products available, I would say a lack of smoking devices is the least of my worries. Come for the cheap concentrates. Come for the ever-adorable Jacques. But stay for the high quality bud and customer service that you should expect of a dispensary (you can stay for the cute puppy, too).