I still grin like a kid in Wonkaland when I lay eyes on a bud bar. Yet, as dispensaries go, there are the good, the bad, and every shade of green in between. There are those that sell amateurish product resembling something grown in your 8th-grade cousin’s closet, and others who vend bud that assuredly needs to be in a hall of fame. It’s an adventure, for sure. As 303’s MMJ dispensary blogger, I’ll be seeking out and reporting on the best our city has to offer. I hope to become your trusted source in separating the kind from the shake. -CC
Maybe it’s a sign that far too many people are walking through life half-awake, but when someone is truly passionate about something, it shows. And never have I met someone more passionate – at least when it comes to medical marijuana – than Anna Cozy. That’s not to say that the other dispensary owners I’ve met don’t love what they do – to the contrary – but there’s something special about Cozy and her dispensary, Colorado Alternative Medicine (CAM), as evidenced by every single little detail she puts forth.
Speaking with Cozy is to have a conversation with one who is truly convicted. In fact, I would love to unleash Cozy’s intellect and passion for medical marijuana on any naysayer … I bet she’ll have them questioning their beliefs in about five minutes’ time. She truly believes in the power of medical marijuana and in providing compassionate care for her patients – the “CAMsters,” collectively – and her conviction is contagious. She personally tends to her grow operation along with putting years of experience and business acumen to use in developing working relationships with regulatory agencies to ensure continued patient access to medicine. The lady is one smart pot-infused cookie.
I visited CAM Sunday afternoon. Denver was a ridiculous 93+ degrees in the shade, and the cool, relaxing home-turned-dispensary on South Broadway offered a welcome oasis from the heat. A cheerful gal behind a window greeted me as I entered the tastefully-decorated waiting room. With chill house music playing in the background, I took in the elegant art, plush gray couches and fireplace. A Buddha statue sat on a table in the corner, with monetary offerings strewn around its base, and a menu containing information on all CAMs hand-crafted strains was on the coffee table. The space was clean, warm, welcoming and serene. Intrigued, I went back to the medicine area, where more of the same awaited.
Two counters in an “L” shape form the bud space, each stocked with about 12 jars of flower a piece. Hashes and concentrates sit in a separate case, as do several varieties of edibles and a large array of CAM shirts. CAM prides itself on growing about 99% of their bud in-house, and all their budtenders are quite well versed on each strain and its varying properties. I had a few questions, but mostly just sat back and observed as a steady parade of patients came to visit.
And here’s where it gets good … almost every patient was greeted by name and given personalized service in a manner that likely hasn’t been seen since Walker’s Drug Store. Patients’ families were asked about, hobbies recalled and genuine concern for each patient’s well-being was displayed. Pretty awesome. After opening about 15 jars of delicious smelling bud, I left with about six strains in hand, eager to see if it tasted as wonderful as it smelled and looked, which brings us to….
Tell Jimi To Change The Name
Let’s get one thing straight: if there ever was something I’m addicted to, it has to be tangerine Jelly Belly jelly beans. A close second might soon become CAMs Tangerine Haze. I shit you not…it smells just like my favorite sugary treat … or fresh tangerines, whatever floats yer boat. With a sweet taste of citrusy, juicy tangerines touched with honey, this gorgeous lush bud smokes clean, burns perfectly and leaves a sweet, camphor-tinged taste on the palate. The high was bubbly and fun, very heady, body tingly, and I couldn’t stop smiling … much like I get when I eat a pound of Jelly Bellys. It might just be my new favorite thing.
Last survivor of the Nostromo
I am a sci-fi geek so anything “alien” kind of makes me squee like a geeky kid with a pocket protector. (Don’t judge me.) CAM’s Alien OG is no exception. I nicknamed it “Predator” because this sinister-looking bud looks like it might sneak up on you and do some damage before you even know it’s there. Tight, pinecone curly bud, almost sagebrush-looking with a smell that mixes citrus and pine with a bit of chemical and savory herbs. It was cured well – a little dry for my tastes, but still good – and shares a hot, burning smoke that carries an earthy flavor. It knocked me on my ass – very stony, very mellow, and very, very good. I might not get much done when smoking this, but ask me if I care. I felt no pain and that, my friends, is a good thing.
Boil, bubble, toil and trouble
I’ve never seen the famed Witches Weed before going to CAM. Childhood fairy tales teach us witches lure in prey using delectable treats, and this bud’s scent of sweet, delicious grapes and pineapples made me a little suspicious as to what damage this stuff held in its gnarly grasp. Dense and compact to the point of looking like a giant Brussels sprout, this green and purple-tinged bud covered with groups of gingery-colored hairs packed quite a punch. It carried a sweet and light smoke that quite deceivingly led into a total creeper of a high. For a bit, I felt nothing much and then…hocus pocus! A completely tingly all-over body high of mass proportions. Wicked. And wonderful.
I love L.A…
According to their CMO, patients can’t get enough of CAM’s LA Kush, and for apparent good reason. The bud was tight, small, unassuming, with short rusty hairs that carried almost a metal flake shimmering quality. It smelled like candy and citrus and tasted almost tropical with…don’t laugh… a green bean-esque aftertaste when smoked. The smoke also left a warming quality on the palate – much like a shot of Grand Marnier. Truth me told, I hated the strong sativa heart-pounding action that initially hit me, but thankfully that transformed within about 10-15 minutes into a total body high that left me daydreamy and happy. It needs noting here that his LA Kush strain is from Abusive’s OG Kush and some of the most premium stuff I’ve ever had.
Bottom line: CAM posts their mission front and center on their website, and strives to live up to it each day. With a continual focus on the well-being and health of their patients, they provide top-quality medicine and service to anyone who enters. Cozy and her co-owner, husband Jacob, clearly understand on the the principle tenets of Marketing 101: deliver outstanding product at a reasonable cost the first time and people will come back again and again. Cozy shared future plans include continued work on affiliations with local healthcare establishments, and health/wellness workshops and programs. Their bud is cured and trimmed almost to perfection, and the staff is awesome. It’s also rumored my fellow chronnoisseurs Method and Redman head over to CAM when in town, so if you wanna be a funk Doctor Spock smokin’ buddha on a train, check it.
Colorado Alternative Medicine: 2394 S Broadway Denver, CO 80210 / 720 379 7295
Perks: Members/regulars get discounts on flower and edibles. Special discount programs for cancer patients and veterans. Frequent strain special deals.
Pricing: $20 gram, $25 half eighth, $35-50 eighth, $100 1/4 ounce, $360 ounce. All prices include tax.