Few destinations have been able to maintain their older-world charm as well as Old Town in Fort Collins. Indeed, walking past the various outdoor dining spots, decorative fountains, and settler-era buildings, it’s not difficult to forget that you’re in the center of Colorado’s largest city north of Denver. Simply put, Old Town is at the heart of Fort Collins’ identity and culture. For award-winning restaurants, kitschy candy and confectioners shops, and delicious breweries, the denizens of Fort Collins venture to this small stretch in the middle of town. During Colorado’s warmer months, it’s not uncommon to happen upon some live music in one of Old Town’s various plazas. Since legalization, and the introduction of recreational marijuana in Fort Collins, dispensaries have also been vying for the attention of people who venture to the large northern college town. Organic Alternatives, a recreational and medical dispensary in the heart of Old Town, is on the cutting edge. As the first spot to reopen after the ban on medical dispensaries was lifted, as well as the first spot to offer recreational cannabis in the city of Fort Collins, Organic Alternatives offers an appetizing product in an equally appetizing part of town. Locals and tourists alike: rejoice!
It was a brisk January morning when I traveled to Fort Collins, taking special care to remove any CU Buffalo paraphernalia from my car before my adventure. The dispensary itself sits at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Jefferson Street, towards Old Town’s northern side. Admittedly, the dispensary sits is a drab, green building, with an equally uninspiring yellow, green, and white awning. I guess this is typical for any dispensaries trying to distinguish themselves to passersby. However, upon entering into Organic Alternative’s massive entry, the difference between the interior and exterior of the dispensary could not be more apparent. A large, circular desk sits facing the entrance, reminiscent of a spa or upscale hotel lobby, except with the faint but undoubtedly familiar scent of fresh cannabis. Brown textured walls and healthy, large plants decorate the enormous waiting area, which is also lined with t-shirts, hoodies, and water bottles with the dispensary’s iconic logo (Hooray! Souvenirs you can take back with you over state lines!). After a brief wait by the window to gather my thoughts (and warm up my hands), one of the dispensary’s managers, Maka, greeted me, and walked me back into the product room. Remember that old world charm that is practically oozing out of every crevice of Old Town? This very same aesthetic is hard at work in Organic Alternative’s impressive, almost gaudy product room. A large, delicately polished bar sits on one end of the room, its impressive wooden features highlighted by the classic light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. A Persian rug sits in the middle of the large room, with medical on one end, and recreational sales on the other.
Maka showed me the recreational strains first. At the time of my visit, the dispensary had some twenty strains available for recreational users, and around half as many available for their medical users. The dispensary, as the name would imply, grows entirely organically, which really comes through in the size, and smell of the buds. Organic Alternatives has quite a few classic strains, and several of the state’s favorites. If they have it in, take a look at the Girl Scout Cookies, which is a strain I’m a very big fan of. However, this place has a super hard-hitting version of the famous strain, with their last test results putting this guy at 28% THC. The dispensary also had their organic versions of Headband, Golden Goat, and Blue Dream, all Colorado favorites, and all coming in around the mid 20s in THC content. Finally, Maka showed me the dispensary’s ACDC strain, containing an impressive 12.6% CBD, with an added 8.43% THC. It’s the kind of strain that is absolutely perfect for any body soreness or pain that you might have. While the selection on the medical side was not nearly as impressive, the dispensary had plenty of recreational flower options.
Organic Alternatives in Fort Collins also has their own blaster for wax and shatter. The shelves were absolutely packed, and I quickly discovered why. For every strain the dispensary grows, they also have a wax or shatter available. That means, if you’re a huge fan of one of their flower strains, the transition into the more potent world of concentrates won’t be that big of a jump. The dispensary also runs specials on their concentrates, so be on the lookout for those. I was delighted to see a very sizable edible selection, with candy bars, cookies, brownies, and drinks from all of your favorites: The Growing Kitchen, IncrEdibles, Edipure, and plenty more. Unfortunately, one place the dispensary was lacking was in their selection of smoking devices. Aside from rolling papers, a few small chillums and pipes, and vape pens, there really wasn’t much in the way of glassware in the store. Maka explains this decision as intentional. “We are trying to work with the awesome head shops in the area, not become their competition.” It’s an interesting concept, considering most cannabis users generally don’t purchase glass from dispensaries anyway. And even if they do, they’re probably not looking for a monster pipe or bong to bring back with them over state lines.
Positioned right up the street from some of Fort Collins’ most notable breweries, shops, and restaurants, it’s not very difficult to see why Organic Alternatives is a dispensary that draws as much traffic as it does. Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that a convenient location certainly does not make a good dispensary. As a matter of fact, high-volume locations typically can get away with shoddier product, and less-than-ideal customer service. Organic Alternatives, on the other hand, has it all. With the best location possible in Fort Collins, high quality organic products, and friendly and patient staff, it’s not so surprising hear that Organic Alternatives is on the forefront of the Fort Collins dispensary scene.
If you get an opportunity to visit Organic Alternatives of Fort Collins, Colorado, let them know you heard of them through the Dope Directory, and please give them a rating.