Back when I was in college, I remember the arduous process of procuring herbal remedies from the collection of colorful individuals who had the right hookups. Most of the time this turned out to be someone who would not only be your dealer, but your friend. I recall one particular weekend, when I was down in town from college, I left two of my friends at my parents’ house (in a vain attempt to trick my parents into thinking we were all still there) and made the trip to meet up with our friend Ryan. I would go to Ryan for weed and would always be treated with a good story, a bit of info on what I was buying, and usually a free sample. Despite the rather audacious locations we would pick, meeting with Ryan was always a great experience. The best part of meeting with Ryan (besides the marijuana) was the genuine interaction between two people interested in cannabis culture. I never expected to experience this warm welcoming feeling inside a dispensary. To my pleasant surprise, Walking Raven dispensary, off Broadway, provided me with the nostalgic feeling I craved, along with products that would have blown Ryan’s out of the water.
I started my Monday morning along Broadway’s verdant gauntlet, and found my way to the massive and easily accessible parking lot of Walking Raven. I sauntered up to the rather unassuming store front and was buzzed into the waiting kiosk by Matt who sat behind a small window. Do you know the old saying “good things come in small packages”? I was about to find out that Walking Raven epitomizes this idiom. Matt welcomed me in beyond the second door, and proceeded to tell me some information about this historic business. Located in what used to be an old used car lot, Walking Raven was the very first medical marijuana dispensary applicant in Denver. They have been serving medical patients ever since and as of January 18th, opened up their doors to the recreational crowds of Colorado. Plans are also in the works to expand the store by 2015, and to smooth out the parking lot’s imperfections. Matt then pointed me in the direction of the main counter.
I made my way past the small waiting area, adorned with proudly posted Cannlabs reports, and walked up to the main counter. The right side of the counter is set up for recreational sales, and the smaller left side still holds a selection of medical options, upholding their long tradition of providing medicinal products to red card holders. Josh, my budtender, introduced himself and started telling me about the products. For starters, all of the marijuana provided by their grower is organically produced. While the selection of different strains wasn’t massive, it was some of the highest quality medical and recreational weed that I’ve ever seen. Treating the buds with an unprecedented amount of care, Josh placed a glove on his hand and pulled out the good stuff for me to take a whiff of. I started with their namesake strain, Raven Haze. Loaded with crystalline goodness, this hybrid is chocked full of enough CBD to quell even the most virulent pains. Next on the list was the Lemon Skunk. Lemon Skunk is an old school skunk, straight from the Amsterdam underground. This strain has a very basic genealogy and is sure to bring back some feelings of nostalgia to any seasoned marijuana smoking professionals. Now to the heavy hitting Hong Kong Diesel. This hybrid strain comes with one of the most staggering Cannabinoid contents I’ve ever seen around 27.6% Max THC. While the current harvest tested at an impressive 29% Total Active Cannabinoids previous batches have tested at a mind-eviscerating 31.3% Total Active Cannabinoids content. This is the highest content I’ve ever seen in a dispensary so far. Needless to say I was impressed with their bud selection.
If you need something that is even harder hitting, why not investigate some of the concentrates available? Try some wax from the Hong Kong Diesel if the buds aren’t enough. There is also a selection of O.pens and O.pen cartridges. Grab a Go.pen and load it up with some of their concentrates produced by Mahatma. The pipe selection also included the fundamentals for anyone who wants to grab a basic pipe to enjoy any of Walking Ravens top shelf products. A selection pre-rolls is also available so that you might experience their organic bliss in an easily disposable incarnation. Edibles are also available from all of the standard producers. Gummy candies from Edipure, baked good from Love’s Oven, chocolates from IncrEdibles, and drinks from Dixie come together to make a very proficient selection for people who would prefer eat rather than inhale their cannabis. I was also pleased to see small dosage 10mg cookies from Sweet Grass Kitchen, perfect for people who have never tried edibles before and also for individuals that don’t need the massive amounts of THC that many other companies jam into their products.
Completely satisfied with the caliber of the products, the knowledge of the employees, and the warm attitude I was received with, it was time for me pry my nose out of the Hong Kong Diesel and move on. As a final note, Josh mentioned that they are willing to sell any amount based off of how much money your have, in case you don’t have quite enough to afford that full 1/8th. Wowed by the experience and Walking Raven’s expeditious and well managed nature I really didn’t want to leave. This location is truly unique; providing a level of service indicative of a friend rather than a dispensary. They stock everything you need so the guesswork has been taken out of the process. It was just like sitting down with my old weed dealing friend Ryan and talking about buds, except in the comfort of an impeccably decorated dispensary rather than in a 92 Oldsmobile in a KFC parking lot. Back to my story from earlier; after heading back to my parent’s house with my ill-gotten gains, I found my friends eagerly waiting outside for me. We went inside only to find my mother at the front door asking if I had “made my appointment?” Despite being flabbergasted at the fact that we weren’t as clever as we thought we were, we still went down to the basement and smoked as covertly as we could. Now that I’ve found Walking Raven, I can still go and chat with a friend while I get my buds, and omit the self-induced guilt of illicit behaviors in my parents’ basement.