To say we’ve come a long way since the initial “war on cannabis” was declared is a massive understatement. Take a moment in sunny Colorado to sit back and appreciate how revolutionary the day and age we live in truly is. There are lot of dispensaries that are basking in the glory of this new found legalization, selling product, and in many cases taking for granted, just how monumental and startlingly rapid the nation’s paradigm switch on cannabis use has been. Located near the heart of the cannabis revolution in Glendale, Colorado is Smokin Gun Apothecary, a brand new Colorado late night dispensary that is taking the boon of Colorado legalization for what it is – the first step on a long road towards national acceptance. Located in front of Shotgun Willie’s in the very spot that used to house the old strip club itself, Smokin Gun is not only a historian’s dream dispensary, but also a testing ground for a revolutionary new style of cannabis sales. Smokin Gun Apothecary quite gracefully merges the traditional style of cannabis marketing along with a very clever streamlined sales system that gives the customer the feel of shopping at a local convenience store. Integrated with this laid back new way to purchase cannabis is the constant reminder of not only how far we’ve come but how far we still have to go before marijuana is accepted as what it is – a substance with phenomenal healing potential that has been given a bum rap for the last century.
I walked up to the massive new building housing Smokin Gun Apothecary, and past the entrance to the brand new Shotgun Willie’s on my way in. I was greeted by Jacinda inside their exceedingly charming entry room. As I soaked in the ambiance and listened to the speak-easy style burlesque music, I noticed a set of plastic mugs containing the special deals of the day sitting on two large barrels with a shotgun shell table. Jacinda popped my ID into one of the mugs, handed it over to me and gave me a quick rundown on how Smokin Gun works. The inside functions as a super market and the mug was my shopping cart. As a customer, I was free to browse and smell all the available products and then select tags for the products I desired and hand them over to the counter to have my order filled. Jacinda also pointed out the back wall before I entered which was three large flat screens loaded with historical information on prohibition, the war on drugs, and the effect that it has had on our country. I walked into the main bud room and met up with Arturo, who gave me a quick tour of this amazing facility. The walls were lined with products, each one with its own little red tag beneath them. In the center of their massive bud room was four half-barrel display cases. As Arturo explained, each of these barrels highlights a different Colorado growing company. During my visit, L’Eagal, Lucy Sky, Smoked, and Lit were presenting over a dozen different strains. Just like a super market represents products from a variety of companies, Smokin Gun has brought the products of some of the best growers in town and put them under one roof for your shopping needs. My attention was then drawn to the back counter where the magic happens. Their gorgeous bud counter was designed off of the Hibernia Bank, an 1870’s bank from New Orleans. Just five years after the bank’s founding in 1875, the first anti-drug law came out of San Francisco targeting opium use. While the laws against marijuana use wouldn’t come for another forty years, and the war on drugs for almost another hundred, this marked the beginning of a long, futile attempt to override human nature. Just to the right of the bank counter was the jail cell, a 1941 replica of a Mississippi cell. As Arturo explained, this was the Smokin Gun’s take on the one-on-one medical-like service, and a reminder to all that back in Mississippi in 1941 what’s happening here would have landed both parties in jail for life.
After enjoying the ambiance and taking a moment to appreciate the giant murals on the floor and back wall, I took some time to peruse the side walls for their topicals, edibles, concentrates, and smoking devices. Starting just to the right of the jail cell was Smokin Gun’s fairly diverse line-up of topical marijuana solutions. There were patches, pens, and salve from Mary’s Medicinals as well as lotions and lip balms from Apothecanna. Dixie made an appearance as well with their extra soothing THC-infused bath soak. The edible options at Smokin Gun were very diverse and wrapped around the walls of the entire dispensary. The line-up included a full selection of drinks from Kief Kolas, baked goods from Sweet Grass and Love’s Oven, chocolates from IncrEdible, candy from Cheeba Chew and Canyon Cultivation, gummies from Edipure and Organix, pills from Mary’s Medicinals, and sublingual drops from Dixie. I moved across the room and took a peek at Smokin Gun’s concentrates. During my visit there was a large selection of pre-activated syringe oils, which were ready to be smoked or simply dolloped into a cup of tea for some extra giddy up. There was also wax from Denver Relief, as well as several options for vape pen cartridges from Lit. As far as smoking devices go, Smokin Gun had a very small selection, but still did have several options. If you are in the market for a nice all-in-one vaporizer capable of burning leaf, then you could snag one of their Pax2 vape pens. Or if you’re just in the market for a quick disposable fix, you can always purchase one of their strain-specific pre-rolls from behind the counter.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention a couple of the deals that Smokin Gun offers along with some of their extra swanky merchandise. Arturo mentioned that each day of the week they have a different deal. For example, on Mondays you can walk into Smokin Gun and purchase yourself a gram for only $10, and on Spliff Sundays you can leave with a pre-roll for only $6. You can snag yourself some killer Smokin Gun hoodies or shirts as well to prove you were there when it all began.
I finished my final spin around the room and I said my farewell to the awesome staff at Smokin Gun. Arturo pointed out the sign over their exit, which shows the current addiction rate of 1.5%. This number is significant because back in 1970 when the war on drugs was declared, the addiction rate was 1.5%. Arturo said, “this paints the picture that the war on drugs hasn’t accomplished anything.” Here we are over 1.5 trillion dollars later and there are still those out there that viewing Colorado’s legalization as a hedonistic affront to society. If you’re in the mood to take up a banner and join the throng of many voices speaking out for an end to oppressive drug laws, then you’ve found your bastion in Smokin Gun Apothecary, a dispensary with the heart and soul of revolution with some damn fine weed to boot.
If you get an opportunity to visit Smokin Gun of Glendale, Colorado let them know you heard of them through the Dope Directory, and please give them a rating.