Let me set the scene for you. It was a relatively normal summer day downtown in Denver, Colorado. The temperature sat around eighty degrees, and the sky was bright blue. The Rockies were losing, and everyone was (still) talking about how great the Broncos were going to be next year. Down on the 16th Street Mall, the distant sound of street performers echoed over the sounds of people rapidly falling into comas after their meals at Cheesecake Factory. All seemed right in the world. Now, what could possibly enlighten a beautiful afternoon in LoDo? Well, if you’re reading this website, I’m sure we both already know the answer. Fortunately, whether you are a Denver native, or someone just swinging in to explore the Mile High City, there might be a dispensary for you, conveniently located right off the mall: LoDo Wellness Center.
I should start by saying that parking is never easy in downtown Denver, and unfortunately for LoDo Wellness Center, it’s not easy for their location either. I would strongly recommend making an afternoon out of being downtown, so you do not feel so griped about having to pay to park. Were I a wiser man, I might have taken one of the metered spots along Wazee, where the dispensary is located, but instead, I took to the “reserved” spots in the lot next to the dispensary. Now, I know that paying $12 for parking (because it was after 4:00 P.M. on a weekday) is my own amateurish fault, but be warned: just like anywhere in downtown, if you don’t read, your wallet will be punished. The dispensary itself is located down a flight of stairs, so be warned, anyone with limited mobility. Once I made my way down to the main room, I could only describe the scene as mildly chaotic. Patients and customers were sort of just hanging around everywhere, and I was a little confused where to check in. Fortunately, a small sign hung up, pointing to a desk floating on the side of the room, and I was all taken care of.
I must give LoDo Wellness Center credit for gussying up an otherwise cold and uninviting space. Their shop is entirely in a basement, which means no windows or carpets to speak of. However, with warm orange and yellow paint, some decorative rugs and vases, and a hodgepodge of Asian-inspired decor, the dispensary has really turned their spot into a nice place. After walking around the large waiting area, and staring jealously at the beautiful plants growing in the viewing room on the back wall, I was invited into the product room. The place is set up simply enough: immediately to your right when you walk in is a counter filled with small glass smoking devices. There were not all that many larger glass pieces to speak of, which makes sense when you think about LoDo’s location and demographic. The dispensary, because of its proximity to tourist-heavy areas, is set up to cater to those visiting Denver with green on the mind. I mean, who in their right mind will be walking around the mall with a giant ceramic bong, and an eighth of bud? From five dollar one-hitters, to preweighed grams just waiting to be taken home, to a modest selection of prerolled, strain-specific joints, the place has ease of purchase and speed of transactions on its mind. That isn’t to say that the bud-tenders won’t spend quality time answering any questions you might have about their selections.
Unfortunately, I found LoDo Wellness Center’s selection of flower disappointingly low. It could be because I was visiting towards the end of the day, but many of their jars were headed towards Shakeville, if you know what I mean (do I even know what I mean?). It was explained to me this is also to not overwhelm the customers who might just be looking for something quickly. However, when I was in, they only had seven different strains available (and only six by the time I left). Behind the counter was a convenient flatscreen that divided the strains into anticipated effect. In short, if your mom calls you, and you want to answer, pick a sativa. If you don’t want to answer, pick an indica.
Also missing was an extensive amount of concentrates available. They do have several indica and sativa shatter blends, but if for some reason that is not what you are looking for, there is no wax or bubble hash to be found here. They do have a fine selection of edibles from many of the usual suspects in the edible industry. They also sell plenty of clever t-shirts, earrings, and other swag to remember your fun trip to Denver’s dispensary scene. For me, though, what makes LoDo Wellness Center a must-see on the list of dispensaries in Denver is the people. Every single person I talked to was absolutely thrilled to be there. From their grower, Paul, who was hanging around in the back, to the bud tenders up front, these people are solid. Like I said before, while the store is set up for your speedy convenience, these guys and gals are more than willing and able to slow things down for you, if you need a bit of time to think about your purchases.
I would recommend LoDo’s to anyone looking for a quick purchase to enhance a night out on in LoDo’s fantastic (albeit rowdy) bar scene. It might also be handy for anyone looking to make a Rockies game (and inevitable loss) more entertaining. For any of my readers planning a trip from out of town, LoDo Wellness Center’s location cannot be beat, for its proximity to the mall, Coors Field, and all of the other hot spots in Denver’s downtown area. While their selection is by far from the best, the variety in what they do have will be plenty to get you your desired effect, unless that effect is a winning local baseball team. Can you tell I’m a little bitter?