There is no denying the big changes that have taken place over the last year for medical marijuana patients here in Colorado. Five years ago the industry here consisted of a random assortment of intimate little medical only facilities, dedicated to helping their patients. In the past year that small assortment has transformed into a veritable menagerie of different recreational storefronts. While this is undeniably appealing to many medical patients out there that don’t want to go through the process of attaining a med card, it’s also been a drag for many out there that have seen their local medical dispensaries turn into traffic-filled and mostly rec-oriented hotspots. The places where they have been comfortable visiting for years to pick up their medication have now tuned into seas of strange faces with higher prices to boot. I personally find it refreshing to visit locations that have decided to maintain their medical status in lieu of becoming a public 21+ shop. It’s even more refreshing to visit a medical only dispensary like The Retreat. Just one out of nine stores in the Strainwise chain, the company has chosen to keep medical only locations in order to meet the needs of their patients. Located right off of Colorado Boulevard, The Retreat is in a prime location to serve the still growing number of medicinal marijuana patients in the State.
In many cases in the past when I’ve visited a dispensary that is part of a large chain I’ve found them to be relatively sterile, bland, and vaguely impersonal. I found that this wasn’t the case for The Retreat: a Strainwise Dispensary. First off, and with a touch of difficulty, I found a place to park in the bustling strip mall that The Retreat calls home. I was immediately pleased by the decor and general ambiance of their waiting area when I walked in. I won’t deny the first thing that hit my nose when entering The Retreat wasn’t the familiar minty herbal smell I’m used to, but was instead the smell of fresh cheesy pizza. I was greeted at the front counter by Kelsey, who reported that I had sadly just missed lunch time (pizza smell explained). Only somewhat dismayed by the fact that I had come too late for pizza, I made up for my losses by heading back to their bud room to experience some of The Retreat’s equally delicious cannabis smells. I was greeted by my budtender Kevin and a great looking line-up of buds on the shelf. With a hint of skill and a dash of panache, Kevin most graciously presented me with my first strain to explore, Tiger’s Milk. Tiger’s Milk came off as being a pale green color simply due to the outrageous amounts of trichomes sticking over every square nanometer of this heavy hitting hybrid strain. Next Kevin grabbed a jar of their CBD rich Kush, perfectly bred to contain all the pain fighting goodness that cannabis is known for. After I took a deep inhale of this skunky, sage-laden indica, it was easy to see why they were already scraping the bottom of the jar on this one during my visit. Lastly I investigated their OJ Ghost. A dark and dashingly bold indica dominant hybrid, OJ Ghost has the classic smell of a diesel, but somehow hits the nose in a way that it doesn’t come off smelling chemically (go figure). A well rounded selection to say the least. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to smoke your medication, The Retreat also carries a selection of 1g pre-rolls, to nip your ailments right in the bud (har har).
After I finished poking my nose through their strains, Kevin brought out a few concentrates for me to look at. First and foremost was their 100% bud run (concentrate produced with buds instead of shake) shatter, produced by TerpX. Although I would have loved to get a little stronger scent from this shatter, I couldn’t deny its impeccable translucence and unadulterated appearance. I have no doubt in my mind that this shatter would be one of the smoothest smokes in town. Kevin also showed me some of their awesome looking strain-specific shatters from TC Labs as well, which were equally attractive and a fair bit more aromatic than their TerpX counterparts. My favorite concentrate, however, was their budder produced for them by Colorado Concentrates. Along with some solvent-less hash, some cold ethanol inactivated syringes from Gold Dragon, and some activated oil sticks from Keef Cola, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect selection of concentrates. Top it off with a few vape pen options from Old Boi and some amazing custom-produced “Strainwise” dab rigs and voilà, instant pain relief for all those cannabis users who utilize concentrates to alleviate their ailments! If smoking isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for a way to apply marijuana topically to those pesky aches and pains, the Retreat has your back with patches and pens from Mary’s Medicinals as well as some extra soothing lip balm produced by Mary Jane’s.
Now time for the edibles. I was already thoroughly hungry from the smell of fresh pizza in the lobby, and Kevin didn’t help my situation at all when he started to show me some of the edible options available at The Retreat. Aside from have the basics from Cheeba Chew, Blue Kudu, IncrEdible, Edipure, Dixie, Cannapunch, and Chai High, they also had a few rarer options. A real crowd pleaser is their hazelnut baklava from Love’s Oven. If you’ve never had baklava, then you’re missing out. Rich flakey layers of buttery filo dough come together with honey and nuts to form a truly sinful sweet treat in this amazing dessert. Mile High Suckers, also made an appearance on their shelf. They are one of my favorite treats out there due to their sugar-free options, amazing flavors, and dedication to accurately testing their products for precise potency. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any hungrier, Kevin pointed out the Wana hot chocolate mixes. He then had the audacity to suggest putting a touch of IncrEdibles mint chocolate inside your cup of hot medicated coco, to create a marriage of minty hot chocolate that is sure to melt away your woes and pains, but probably not your waistline. Still I can’t help but think of that concoction as being the ultimate cup of hot cocoa so sit down next to the fire with.
I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by my first visit to a Strainwise dispensary. I encountered a lot more character than I would have expected and I can imagine that their other locations most likely reflect the same level of unique ambiance that I encountered at The Retreat. It’s nice to know for all the medical card holders in the state that there will be dispensaries out there that are still dedicated to giving their patients the time, care, and quality products that they deserve. While I would recommend The Retreat as a great place to investigate for all red (or purple) card holders out there, I want to emphasize again that for you dabbers out there, this is a great location to stop by to get some amazing looking concentrates. Saying my farewells, I went back through the lobby one last time and encountered that fresh-baked smell of pizza, and went home to become fresh-baked myself and perchance sit down with a nice book for a fun filled evening of minty hot chocolate drinking by the fire.
If you get an opportunity to visit The Retreat: a Strainwise Dispensary of Denver, Colorado let them know you heard of them through the Dope Directory, and please give them a rating.