Head north out of Boulder, drive through the winding mountain roads (that were completely wiped out in the floods in 2013, but are back in action today!), until you make it to a glorious, pristine mountain lake. Fight your way through the throngs of people, especially on a sunny summer day, and pray for a decent parking spot. Estes Park. For Coloradans and tourists alike, Estes Park is a classic destination for a day of hiking, eating, and shopping. With several year-round Christmas shops (yes, I said several), or restaurants that feature yak on the menu, or any one of the hundreds of ice cream stores in town, Estes Park is certainly a treat for those seeking the quirky, carnivalesque atmosphere the town offers. For me, the drive up there makes the town just as magical. And now, after visiting Karing Kind, a little recreational dispensary located just north of Boulder, there is another destination on that glorious stretch of Highway 36. Whether you’re in Boulder, heading to Lyons or Estes, or vice versa, or if you’re simply looking for some of the cheapest tax rates in Colorado, Karing Kind should be on your list.
At first glance, you might think Karing Kind’s location, about a mile outside of the city limits of Boulder, is a bit strange. Drive north out of Boulder on 28th street, which will then turn back into Highway 36, and you’ll come to a cluster of buildings apart from any other structures. Aside from the glorious view of the foothills, the location does not offer much to see. However, Karing Kind’s unique location offers two very important advantages to you, the consumer. First, since the dispensary does not actually sit in the city of Boulder, their tax rate is only 14.8%. Compare that to 24% in the city of Boulder, and as much as 35% in parts of Denver. For recreational customers, this alone should whet your appetite. Secondly, the dispensary offers a discreet shopping environment, perfect for people who do not want to proclaim their cannabis usage to the world. Located immediately off Highway 36, I pulled into the dispensary’s rocky parking lot, and parked right up against the drab green building. The dispensary is small; as I walked in, people were paying for their bud where I assumed I had to show my ID. Actually, I was corralled around to the main product counter, and showed my budtender my ID. The entire dispensary takes up one small room, with mint and purple walls. The entire product room is lined with cushioned brown chairs, for when, I assume, there is a rush. Floor lights sit at either end of the room, covering the area in soft, yellow light.
Karing Kind’s products are very straightforward, and their approach is remarkably hands off. Each jar of bud was labeled with its price per gram, and its price per eighth. Remember that cheap tax I was talking about? You can walk out of Karing Kind with an eighth of chronic for $25. At the time of my visit, you could choose from twenty strains, including four infused strains. The store rotates through fifty different types of flower, according to the owner, Dylan, so make sure to pick up what you like when the dispensary has it. Karing Kind also has a few strains that you won’t find anywhere else. Their homemade Houdini, which is a pleasant mix of Sharksbreath and Sour Diesel, produces an extremely balanced and cerebral high. For those looking for a small jolt of CBD in their flower, take a look at the dispensary’s Amber Waves and Shiva (both in-house strains). Each floats around 18% THC, with just over 4% CBD. I was free to explore the sample jars on top, adhering to the “smell, don’t touch” rule. The budtenders went about their business, but were always available if I had a question about any of the strains. That’s not to say the staff was negligent, however. A couple from Wisconsin came in while I was examining the jars, and they asked about as many questions as you’d expect from a Midwesterner coming to a Colorado dispensary. The budtenders were more than helpful to them, making sure they picked the right products for their tolerance levels, and experience with marijuana (both of which seemed minimal). I genuinely appreciated that.
Because of an exclusive deal with 710 Labs, and because of a brand new CO2 extractor in the store, Karing Kind was overflowing with various types of concentrates. For wax and “shatterwax,” the dispensary had several sweet options. Additionally, if you’re looking for CO2 extracted concentrates, Karing Kind makes their own CO2 budder and oil. Also, this homemade concentrated goodness can be all yours for just $35 per gram. Anyone shopping recreationally should pick their jaws off up the floor now, and realize that’s a spectacular price.
Finally, there are plenty of cannabis-related goodies for you to take home with you at Karing Kind, which you might not find in other spots around Boulder. For one, they carry their own line of shirts and hats with their charming logo printed across them. The city of Boulder has restricted dispensaries from selling items with their brand name, but since