A few weeks ago, I was invited by a friend to go out on the town. In years past, what this meant was a romp around LoDo, a late-night stop at a pizzeria, and an incredibly expensive cab ride back home. It was easy enough to say if you were going out in Denver, you never went west of I-25. Simple as that. On the night that my friend and I got some drinks, he took me to Linger, a bar converted from the old Olinger Mortuary smack dab in the middle of the Denver Highlands. As I sipped my whiskey concoction, I looked out over Linger’s patio, where the brightly-lit Denver skyline met my gaze. Just to think, five or six years ago, the Highlands was not a very desirable place to whet your whistle, and now, the area is home to some of Denver’s finest bars, restaurants, and boutiques. The area is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots to visit in Denver, and it just so happens to be home to The Releaf Center, a medical marijuana dispensary with the community in mind. While their selection isn’t the absolute best, the boutique-styled dispensary has its sights set on providing the denizens of the Denver Highlands with top-notch product, and prices that are hard to beat.
The Releaf Center is located right in the middle of the Denver Highlands, right across the street from one of the city’s favorite speakeasies, Williams and Graham (a statement that would get me buried in concrete some 90 years ago). The dispensary has grown up with the area; when it opened its doors in 2009, the Highlands was one of the more seedier spots in town, much like how LoDo was before the ballpark came in. Interestingly, the neighborhood seemed to change around the dispensary. From a gritty, working class neighborhood, the area is now how to deluxe condominiums, coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, teeming with hip twenty-somethings and affluent homeowners alike. The dispensary’s interior has mint walls, and nicely polished wood floors. After a quick check of my paperwork, the store’s general manager, Nick, welcomed me back into their massive waiting room. The area is comfortable, and stocked filled with candy (just in case you decide to medicate before visiting), and a well-worn massage chair. I had the luxury of coming in on a weekday, so there was absolutely no wait to get into the actual product room. Several magazines and a well-kept fish tank are there to occupy you if you do encounter any sort of wait, however.
Nick showed me some of the highlights of the sixteen strains of bud The Releaf Center had at the time of my visit. Their “bread and butter,” according to Nick, was their Casey Jones. As the dispensary’s staple and mainstay, the uplifting hybrid is sure to get you humming The Grateful Dead tune all the way home. If you are looking for a truly euphoric experience, take a look at their Hippy Heaven, a strain you’d be hard-pressed to find in very many other spots. To use the dispensary’s description: “Picture yourself riding a unicorn over a rainbow made out of dancing bears, while listening to your favorite hippie music,” I’m sure this bud will get you giggling and smiling all night. Shit, by that description alone, I very nearly purchased all they had. The pricing structure was very reasonable as well. Patients who make The Releaf Center their primary caregiver should expect to walk away only paying $7.42 for a gram of any strain in the store. If you like to buy in bulk, you could be saving over seventy dollars as a member, versus non-member pricing. If you’re old school, and you still cling to the nostalgia of passing a doobie around, The Releaf Center has pre-rolls of shake that are only four bucks for members (and only five dollars for non-members).
While the dispensary doesn’t carry any shatter in the summer months, be sure to check out their sizable selection of wax from Mahatma. If you are looking for the crumbly, earwaxie concentrates, The Releaf Center has a full selection of Mahatma Platinum. Their Mahatma Black set is reminiscent of old-school black sticky hashish. In their refrigerator, you can find pure hash oil, which can be digested, or administered sublingually. Scattered throughout the room were more edible products for you to take home. On one counter sat an entire bowl filled with the ever-delicious Cheeba Chews, as well as a few selections from Healthy Creations, Blue Kudu, and Edipure. A cooler against the back wall was home to medicated pizzas by Medibles, and several non-medicated ice pops for those especially hot summer days. Back out in the waiting room, you’ll find a smattering of different pipes and one-hitters. Larger glass, such as bongs and dab rigs were not really available.
What shined about this place for me was Nick’s patience as I perused the various strains and products. The store’s motto is “We’re patients, too,” which really came to light as I discussed the store’s product offerings with him. “Before we sell anything, we’ll test it out first,” Nick proudly proclaimed, as I looked through the store’s well-stocked display cases. For every product I asked about, I was met with a short description, and what were the intended effects. I was surprised by the level of expertise I was shown in my short time at the dispensary. Where many places will say, “Well, I’ve heard good things about this,” The Releaf Center’s staff can personally verify each product in the store. In short, they won’t sell it if it isn’t worth selling.
I really liked the boutique feel of the Releaf Center. While their selection was not overwhelming, I sensed a strong mastery of each of their products. Each strain had a well-written product description, and each product has been staff-tested to ensure what you go home with is worth your time. For patients who have a difficult time walking, I would suggest a visit in the morning hours during the week, if at all possible. Parking in the Highlands can be a real challenge depending on the time of day, and day of week, but I was able to sneak in a block away from the store. I think The Releaf Center really fits in with the neighborhood that has developed around it. If you want a dispensary that has held onto its small, mom-and-pop feel, swing on by. I know next time I’m sipping overpriced cocktails in LoHi, I’ll be visiting The Releaf Center first.
If you get an opportunity to visit The Releaf Center, let them know you heard of them through the Dope Directory, and please give them a rating.