How did they rate?
It’s a question I get asked frequently and persistently and it’s a question that I would dare say I’m uniquely suited to answer. Where should I buy marijuana? While it may be a question that I can personally answer, it’s not as simple as asking me what gas station to go to, or which liquor store to buy at. Unlike liquor stores, where you’ll find the same stock set of name brand beers and whiskey, every dispensary carries unique products that, chances are, you’ll only find at that locale. Whenever I’m asked that question, however, it’s not the products that will make me recommend one location over another, it’s the people. People are the one factor that will make any dispensary truly unique, and they are what will get me coming back in the door time and time again. The people are what made my experience complete when I went in for my first visit to Native Roots, a recreational and medicinal marijuana dispensary, off the 16th Street Mall, in Denver Colorado. It only took one visit to their flagship location to see the unique experience they are fostering as a company and see why Native Roots has taken Colorado by storm.
I made my way down the 16th street mall, meter fully plugged and photo gear in hand. While I always feel a little silly trouncing about laden with tripods, I know it would rank far from the most bizarre sights I’ve seen downtown. Snuggled along the side of the street, no more pronounced than the other local storefronts I saw the sign for Native Roots. After snapping a few candid shots of the front door (I could be a paparazzi, that door never even know I was there) I stepped in and started my Native Roots experience. The stairs down to the dispensary were open and welcoming, with a mural laden curved wall in front displaying Native Roots traditional and snazzy collage wall design. Halfway down the stairs, there was a massive display set up, holding a bounty of unique Native Roots merchandise items, most of which sported the tree-of-life-esque design that has become synonymous with the chain. As soon as I got to the bottom I was greeted by another kindred Jesse, well a Jess, but that counts in my book. She had me sit down with a couple of medicinal patients waiting to collect their medication while she fetched who I was supposed to meet with. While I didn’t catch his name, an older gentleman who was waiting started by raving that he hasn’t gone anywhere else for his medicinal marijuana for years. An undeniably good endorsement to start me off on my adventure. After a short wait, I was greeted by Travis, who started my tour off by briefly explaining how Native Roots medicinal marijuana worked before taking me back to the rec side. As Travis explained, there are two tables back in the med room, but they usually like to take people back one at a time for a more personal experience. This makes sense since people that have medical conditions may want to ask questions and really get to know what products are best to assuage their ailments. After all, I wouldn’t want someone in the room with me if I was picking up prescription hemorrhoid cream (too far? Maybe, but you get the point). After a flash of my MED badge, I followed Travis back to the recreational sales floor.
For being an entire dispensary located underground, I’ve got to say that the space didn’t feel claustrophobic in the least. Sleek light colored cement floors, white ceiling paint, and black painted walls made the space the perfect combination of roomy yet intimate. Classic rock was making its auditory presence known, and the staff was hard at work selling some sweet buds at several of their six check-out stations. Travis guided me over to one of the open stations and started to explain a little more about what makes Native Roots tick. As he explained all Native Roots are set up to educate the consumer on what they are getting. This location in particular, with its high volume of out-of-town traffic, was loaded with pamphlets on products and laws. As if to drive home this point I saw the educational process happen several times right next to me from some of the budtenders, first when Phil was trying to educate a newcomer on the potency of concentrates and then a moment later when Tawni was trying to drive home the point to not eat all 100mg of your edible at once (been there, done that, and didn’t enjoy it). Now that I had the basic run-down, it was time to get to the good stuff! Travis pulled out their display shelf of strains for me to peruse.