If you’ve read any of my editorials, you’ll know I almost obsessively discuss the geography of Colorado. Simply put, geography and Colorado are both passions of mine. This is the state that I’ve made my life in. This is the state that I want to continue to make my life in. Growing up in Denver was fun, and it was pretty simple to navigate anywhere. I know the “What exit do you live off of?” joke is reserved for the citizens of the great state of New Jersey, but the same question could be used for the front range as well. We only have two major highways (don’t pretend to be something you’re not, I-225). You either live in proximity to I-25, or its busier and uglier sister I-70. Bonus points if your pad is within five minutes of either of these major arteries. Let me tell you, then, about Starbuds. Mixing utter convenience, with a carefree and jovial vibe, while Starbuds is not the prettiest dispensary you’ve been in, it’s a place you’ll feel instantly at home.
Getting to Starbuds is simple: drive east on I-70 until you see the Denver Coliseum. Once you do, exit the highway, and welcome to Elyria-Swansea: a predominately Hispanic/Latino neighborhood dating back to the 1880s. Like many of Denver’s neighborhoods, Elyria-Swansea has its share of problems, namely the significant pollution from the interstate, and the heavy industry in the direct vicinity. It is actually a charming neighborhood, mostly known for the National Western Stock Show; a place for old cowboys and cowgirls to catch a rodeo, or for collegians to drink heavily and try dip for the first time. Starbuds has its own lot, but don’t be confused by the signs around the store on the street. You can park anywhere on the street, so long as the Stock Show isn’t in town. Whatever you do, do NOT park in the neighbor’s lot, or across the street at the gas station. Apparently, that’s a big no-no, according to the budtenders inside.
The waiting room reminds me of the inside of an H&R Block, from the malachite green walls to the office-professional leather furniture to lounge in before you are called back. I was welcomed back into the product room after a short wait.
As I was walking in, a few girls celebrating a birthday were walking out, excitedly proclaiming about how “messed up” they were going to get later that evening. I guess I’m in the right place. The product room looks similar to the lobby, in that it is the same bright green color. Two friendly bud tenders helped me out, showing me the different offerings that Starbuds has to offer. There was a modest selection of different strains available at the dispensary. During my visit, I had my pick from fourteen different strains, including the ever-popular, and ever potent Amnesia Haze (now, perhaps it’s just me, but I’m only a teensy bit uncomfortable smoking a strain with ‘amnesia’ in the name). For an incredibly balanced, but powerful high, take a look at the Sublime: a dense mixture of Afghani and Super Skunk that is sure to help you start enjoying reggae punk. It’s worth mentioning that Starbuds does not preweigh any of its bud, so you’re present when your eighth is being weighed out.
For those looking for a stronger experience, all of Starbuds’ concentrates are provided by Caviar Kings, including their caviar, which comes in prerolled cones or flower, depending on whatever tickles your fancy. I’ll be honest though: the caviar flower that I looked at from the plastic carton it came in looked a bit old, and smelled a lot like cough syrup. My budtender assured me this was a sign that it was potent. Either way, no thank you. Fortunately, Starbuds was filled with shatter and wax, also brought to you by the gentlemen and ladies over at Caviar Kings. While their samples looked pretty solid, I am still wary about buying anything that I cannot see first, and because of the particular packaging that Caviar Kings employs, you really cannot see what you are going to get. For those with a sweet tooth, you have your choice of edibles, but the heavy hitters are also brought to you by Caviar Kings. Be forewarned, though. Each one of Caviar Kings’s delicious treats at Starbuds are absolutely delicious, and are 100mg to the package. Now, if you’re anything like me, I’m sorry. But who can stop at one bite of a marshmallow and fruity cereal bar (which they pleasantly call the “Kreeper”)? For those of you who need a less incapacitating experience, try the always-popular Edipure candies, which are conveniently dosed to 10mg a pop.
Starbuds has plenty of smoking devices and accessories to boot. If you’re in need of a new pipe or dab rig, there are several options available in the display cases around the product room. If you’re interested in starting your own marijuana experiment at home, a few clones are kept on the back shelf by themselves. Want to show everyone where you shop? Take a peek at their clever t-shirts, and branded hats. With a name like Starbuds, you’ll at least get a few chuckles and “Oh, I get it”‘s. Finally, Mary Jane’s makes a few different bubble baths and massage oils to spice up an evening, if that’s your thing. Need to get high in a very discreet way? Try a hash oil pill. At $10 a pill, you can get more than
happy with those. Careful! Each pill is dosed at 100mg.
It appears as though Starbuds put themselves together much like how I cook chili: a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a lot of more of these, a sprinkle of those. There is a little bit of everything here, and they offer several interesting deals to keep people coming back. They are the type of dispensary that is not afraid to sell their shake at rock-bottom prices. In fact, several people came in specifically for their “house blend.” It is a little bit of a mishmash inside, but I think that’s what gives the place its charm. Add in some polite and funny budtenders, and you have the equation for perhaps exactly what Elyria-Swansea needs: a fun place to come in, relax, and go home with something to make the day a little brighter.