I’m a huge fan of Boulder’s West End. This is the side of downtown Boulder that houses several of Boulder’s higher-end cocktail bars, restaurants, and boutiques. It’s also one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, boasting several Victorian-era homes to deliver history-junkies like myself to a different time entirely. And hey, some of the greatest spots on this side of town are just out of stumbling distance for wasted college kids on the Pearl Street Mall. All in all, it’s a solid part of town. Hidden in this unique neighborhood is The Dandelion: a medicinal facility with offerings and aesthetics that will bring you back to a different time period entirely. The art on the walls is psychedelic and eclectic, and deliciously Bohmenian. Couple this with several laid-back and patient bud tenders, and you might forget that you are standing in 2014 Boulder, rather than, say, 1974 Boulder.
As I said, The Dandelion is a medicinal-only facility located on Boulder’s West End, hidden in a delightful old house. This store has very few large signs to indicate its existence, so just know that it’s right next to the popular cocktail hub, The Bitter Bar. Since there are quite a few businesses in the area, parking can be a bit hairy, and don’t get fooled into paying for parking. Right down the street from the dispensary is a line of free two-hour parking, if you’re lucky enough to snag a spot during peak hours. I entered the brightly lit dispensary, where a group of bud tenders were casually hanging around the front desk, who all greeted me with a warm smile. This entry room is literally a converted living room, with massive vaulted ceilings, and a comically large mural of flowers adorning the back wall. I took a seat on one of the dispensary’s comfortable couches, and filled out the short bit of paperwork required, while the folks at the front desk looked over my licenses. After a short wait, I was brought through their glass room, into what they call “The Garden,” or their product room.
Meeting me in the product room was their solitary bud tender at the time, Marco, who appeared quite a bit isolated from his comrades up front. Right away, he took me through the massive selection of flower available at The Dandelion. Now, I always like to ask the bud tenders their favorite strains, and perhaps Marco sensed my feeling of walking back in time, because the first jar he placed in front of me was the Maui Wowie: a strain you might not see unless you’re in Hawaii, or watching Half Baked for the twentieth time. The strain smells like a sweet fruit punch, and produces a mild and euphoric high. Yes, please. I then greeted the Romulan, which will put you to sleep fast if you aren’t careful. Like many strains that are indica-dominant, this guy had a wonderful piney, earthy smell to it. With this strain, it would not be unusual for you to power through an entire season of Star Trek: The Next Generation (or Voyager, or Deep Space Nine, or hell, any of the movies. Whatever floats your boats, nerds). If neither of those sound interesting to you, keep in mind The Dandelion had 26 strains to choose from.
For my concentrate-loving friends, The Dandelion had a decent selection, at varying price ranges. At the most affordable end was the bubble hash from Rasta Bubble, which can be yours for only $25/gram. Moving up the ladder, there are plenty of ice hashes, waxes, and shatters from Mahatma, and The Lab. At the very top of the spectrum is shatter from Green Dot Labs. These beauties are full nug runs, and strain specific, and extremely potent for dabs. While $60 is a bit pricey, especially for medicinal patients, you do certainly get what you pay for in this instance.
Around the corner of the counter, you can find all of The Dandelion’s edible selections, stacked neatly in a light-up display case. I was happy to see Julie & Kate brand roasted seed mix among their selections. I think it’s important, especially at a medicinal dispensary, to have healthy alternatives to the standard sugar-heavy brownies, cookies, and candies that we so often see. However, if you do have a bit of a sweet tooth (me too), you have to love the great selections by Mountain Medicine, Edipure, The Growing Kitchen, and plenty of other Colorado favorites. I was also delighted to see Mad Hatter’s tea and coffee mixes. At 80g of THC a pop, there might be no better way to “wake and bake.”
Outside of “The Garden” is The Dandelion’s glass room, where Chris was busily stamping bags with the dispensary’s insignia. The room is decorated with several beautiful examples of pop art, as well as statues of East Asian deities. The display cases were filled with unique pieces of glass, from local Colorado glass blowers. In these display cases were some of the dispensary’s vape pen options, such as the Pax Vaporizer by Ploom. It’s pricey, but it’s an incredibly sleek and discreet full-flower vaporizer. You could also pick up cheaper vape pens, and fill them with CannaSap, the propylene glycol based hash oil cartridges made by Native Roots (Dandelion’s sister store). While there were certainly some interesting glass pieces on sale, The Dandelion only had a few pieces available for purchase.
As I was finishing up my visit at the Dandelion, the front room started to fill with patients, impatiently tapping their toes.It’s certainly a popular spot, and it isn’t hard to see why. This is a dispensary that combines a charming old house, with a certain Boho-chic aesthetic. With plenty of selection, and relaxed and polite bud tenders, every step of the way through The Dandelion was a delightful romp in a time long gone. For me, it might not get much more “Boulder” than this place.