First off, let me state that I honestly never thought I would see the day that I would be buying legal recreational marijuana anywhere in this country. The reefer madness we’ve seen perpetuated over the past century has been absurd, and seemed impossible to overcome for quite a while. If not for all of the activists who have worked tirelessly to set the record straight on pot, we’d never even be where we are today.
So you could say I was legitimately excited about the experience of buying marijuana legally for the first time in my lifetime. The fact that I’m supporting schools and local communities with my tax dollars is the perfect icing on the cake.
We first stopped at The Green Solution in Northglenn, where my wife and I each picked up approximately a quarter ounce of buds. Upon checking in at the front desk (where they do take down your name and I’m not sure how much other information from your license), we were allowed inside a welcoming “green” room where we were greeted by the sounds of Janis Joplin and the handshake of “Mr. Miyagi.” He only has two jokes and seems to have the same schtick with all of the new customers. Seems like a decent guy, though, and he was friendly about everything while we waited.
We were then greeted by a bud tender who invited us over to the retail selection inside a glass case. The buds looked inviting, and we immediately asked to check out a few up close. Each one we smelled was nicely fragrant, and most looked like high quality buds. The guy we dealt with had only been on the job two weeks, but was still helpful and seemed to know what he was doing for the most part (more on that in a bit).
I ended up choosing a small amount of a few different strains – Blue Dream, Grape Stomper, Presidential Kush and Jah Kush. My wife chose the Blueberry and a couple other strains that were better for medicinal use. We also picked up a cheap glass pipe for $15 which we’re going to gift to a friend who lives in Colorado (and is over the age of 21) on the day we leave. Better safe than sorry when it comes to transporting something like that after it’s been used.
Upon checking out, our bud tender asked to see each of our licenses again even though we had already shown them at the front desk. He then informed us we would need to purchase a special bag for $3.00 (which could be reused upon future visits, if we’d like). Not a huge deal, but I wasn’t a fan of the extra charge. I was then informed that “oops, I gave you a little too much.” Apparently his math was off and I was a gram over weight. I told him it’s not a big deal, to go ahead and take a gram from the Presidential Kush since I had the most of that. He did, and I paid – a whopping $140 for my package (which included the pipe). My wife’s total came to right around $140, but she only had the buds (and a pack of cannabis candies she picked out).
We put it immediately in our trunk to be safe, and drove an hour north to our hotel. When we got there, we both were able to check out our buds. It was then that I found out he was wrong about me being over a quarter ounce – in fact, when I weighed everything (and looked at the labels) it all matched up to approximately 5.75 grams. Not good. On the bright side, that’s all he charged me for. If he had overcharged me at all, I would have been seriously ticked off – but I can live with paying the proper price for just a little less weed. My wife’s stash perfectly matched up with what she ordered, so there’s that.
The buds as a whole were pretty much spot-on. The more medicinal strains (high CBD percentage) really helped my wife’s back pain, and we were extremely impressed with the Presidential Kush. My favorite was probably the Blue Dream, with Jah Kush coming in a close second. The Blueberry looked and smelled amazing but the effects were light and mellow, a little different than what I expected but still not bad.
We stayed at our hotel for 4 days and were able to work through all of the stash in that time, without being knocked on our butts or melting into the couch. We ended up using an Arizer Solo vaporizer for most of our stay, which provided a unique and smoke-free experience. If you’re in the market for a portable vaporizer that won’t combust your herbs, you can’t go wrong with the Arizer Solo.
We spent the second half of our 8-day trip in Denver, staying at a “420 friendly” private residence. For this leg of our trip, we stopped at The Green Room in Boulder on our way down. The Green Room is pretty much the polar opposite of The Green Solution. Where TGS turns your weed shopping into an extravagant experience complete with hippie music and TV screens highlighting medical marijuana, TGR is a more quiet and laid back experience.
Upon arrival, the bud tender at the front desk spent a minute or two looking over our licenses, checking for the proper holograms and marks. Since we’re from out of state and they had just opened for recreational sales about a week before we showed up, he wanted to be absolutely sure he covered all bases. I told him, “I’d rather have you make us wait than take a shortcut which could lead to you getting shut down.” And that’s the truth.
We then went back into a small room for a private face-to-face meeting with our bud tender. There are a few meeting desks in the room, each separated by a privacy barrier so customers can chat with tenders in relative privacy. On the desk in front of you is a menu which you can look over, and decide which buds you’d like to take a look at and/or smell. In my opinion, the selection here at TGR was better than TGS for recreational variety. We checked out pretty much every bud on the recreational menu, and we decided on several strains to try out. I chose an eighth of Super Lemon Haze and an eighth of Afghan Kush. My wife decided on a few other varieties that had higher CBD counts.
Another thing that really set TGR apart from TGS was the fact that they pick out your buds and weigh them right in front of you. TGS picks the buds and weighs them out of your sight, so you really don’t know exactly what you’re getting until you open it up and check it out. I liked seeing the buds picked and weighed – especially after the weight mix-up earlier in the week at TGS. Another factor that set TGR apart was the fact that they used proper black child-proof bottles for the buds (see pic), and did not charge anything extra to bag them. TGS uses containers that are not childproof and require the $3 bag on every purchase (unless you bring the bag back in on your next visit).
Bud quality was up to par with almost everything we got from TGR, but I’d say it wasn’t quite as good as the stuff we got from TGS. Most of the buds weren’t nearly as big, and a couple of strains tended to be really harsh. The Super Lemon Haze was great, however, and I wouldn’t hesitate to come back to TGR if we ever stopped through Boulder again.
To sum up, if you’re coming through Colorado for a short trip and you’re looking for a real “experience” when buying legal weed, go check out The Green Solution and tell “Mr. Miyagi” I said hello. The buds are quality and the atmosphere really sets the mood nicely. But if you want a no-nonsense experience where you’ll get to see your buds picked (and perhaps pick them yourself – I didn’t ask) and weighed, check out The Green Room. Either way, I don’t really think you can go wrong. I’m sure there are plenty of other high-quality places of business that deserve your support, but these were the only two we were able to visit on this trip.
When it comes to our overall experience in general, we didn’t have or see any issues anywhere we went in the state. There isn’t an overpowering weed smell or cloud of smoke hanging over Denver, nor are there potheads on the corners blowing smoke in the faces of unsuspecting families. It’s just like any other large city we’ve been in – except here, adults can responsibly enjoy a plant that’s been unfairly demonized at the federal level for far too long.
Here are some pics of our stash and some of the buds, which have officially been all smoked up. Enjoy!
Be sure to check out his archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.