So I guess you could say I’m a bit of a headbanger, or at least I was back when Aqua Net was the shit. Yes, admittedly, big-ass hair and painted-on jeans used to rock my world, and there was nothing better than cranking up some Black Sabbath and pissing off my parents. And, oh yeah, that smell in my room? Incense…of course.
That said, I suppose y’all might understand why SweetLeaf Compassion Center had me at their name. If you don’t, click the link below and get some education.
Hell yeah, Iommi and Ozzy. So it was with Sabbath blaring in the car, I set out to SweetLeaf, a little shop on Leetsdale, to see what I could see. And what I saw was…a strip mall? Hmmm. Well, don’t judge a book by its non-leather jacket.
As the name implies, this is a “center.” In other words, it’s not just about the Mary Jane, although (of course) we’ll get to that shortly. The staff and owners of SweetLeaf are committed to total patient wellness, and that means extra services abound. Group bike rides, yoga classes, Ju-Jitsu, Tibetan sound bowl meditation, electromagnetic therapy, massage, a staff nutritionist and more are available on-site. All services are open to the public, although extra “medicated” options are offered for MMJ card holders. The center also sponsors teams for the annual MS Bike Tour and is soon kicking off their Second Annual Holiday Food Drive (more information below.)
In other words, SweetLeaf is committed to total patient wellness and a sense of community, and they want to ensure patients are smiling by the time they leave.
The initial waiting room is clean, small, fairly non-descript. However, once one passes through the door into the restricted MMJ cardholder area, well, it’s a different story. Walking the long, green hallway back to the bud room, I felt like I was entering a posh lounge. Tasteful artwork lined the soft green-painted walls, while small rooms off to the right side of the hallway, curtained with velvet, invited me in. In one: a large assortment of smoking and vape devices, along with all the necessary accoutrements; in the other, works by local artists…something SweetLeaf loves to promote. In fact, there is art almost everywhere, along with ample seating areas full of overstuffed chairs, a large television, wifi and complementary beverages. They also boast the weirdest room I’ve ever been in: one with intricate, beautifully painted chakra murals activated by black lights. Trippy. I can’t wait to go back and take a yoga class in that room.
On the menu are bud, edibles (including a nice clearance section), full-melt no-butane bubble hash, concentrates, oils, kief and tinctures. The flower is all soil, hydroponically grown and organic. The budtenders are super friendly, quite knowledgable, and proud of the medicine they vend. The two who were on duty the day I visited eagerly tag-teamed answering my questions, and even did some advanced fact-finding to determine what strains and products might serve my particular needs. Service? A++ indeed.
Let’s talk about bud, shall we? Among the 6-7 varieties I left with, these were the most notable…
Not for the Night Owl.
Strain: LA Confidential. This bud looks like it means business. Light soft green leaves hide the dark red tendrils, covered in wet-shiny crystals. Once broken the odors of, well, a weird combination of Vicks Vaporub and baby powder is emitted, but don’t let this turn you off. The taste is spicy – almost like an apple spice cake, which makes no sense, but I’m just telling you like it is. Save this 100% Indica strain for the night time. It’s heavy shit.
Easy, cheesy. Strain: Big Buddha Cheese. As the name suggests, this is some big, hefty stuff. Dense, darker green tightly-wrapped buds break open to reveal a smell of…bubblegum? Yep, that’s right. It’s a super heavy smoke with a lingering, almost nutty aftertaste. A total cougher and one-hit bud for those times you just need to really sit back, relax, and rub your belly like Buddha.
Mrs. Robinson weed? Strain: Lemonhead. Tight, dense and trichome-dusty buds with a major citrus whiff mean yes please for me. Tinges of menthol and a bit of rose-like floral aroma open the senses to this tasty treat called Lemonhead, with the addition of a bit of mint. A definite all-over body high, this one made me tingly all over. Delightful.
Hate the name, love the effect.
Strain: LSD. Let me be straight – I loathe the name of this bud so much that I almost didn’t take it. I don’t want to get on a soapbox, and I’m certainly not trying to single out SweetLeaf because many other dispensaries do this, but if the MMJ community wants to be seen as legitimate, the druggie references need to go. Just sayin’. Anyhow, this 60% sativa was a dusty sage color with a lot – I mean a lot – of rusty brown hairs. A savory smoke with a smell like orange cleaning products, this bud is a beaut. I was happy, smiley and able to get. Shit. Done. Like, really. Much more than I ever had when and if I ever used LSD.
Bottom line: SweetLeaf tows the full-holistic patient care line with class and ease. The staff is friendly and smart about what they’re selling, and they truly want to build a community from the ground up. The medicine does what the medicine should do, but for those who have deeper health issues, holistic care is key – and SweetLeaf understands that. Their bud is delicious, and although the cure on two of the six strains I sampled did seem a little rushed, it’s trimmed and handled with care. Service is amazing. Bonus: there’s a tortas shop next door for a tasty treat.
SweetLeaf Compassion Center: 5301 Leetsdale Drive / 303.955.8954
Hours: M-Sat: 9-7, Sun: 10-5
Perks: Member pricing available with substantial discounts on both marijuana products and wellness services. First-timer discounts. For those one a budget, I’d also recommend the “Sexy-J” – a strain-specific whopper of a pre-roll soaked in honey oil for $8.95. Delish.
Prices: (note: there are periodic specials)
Flower: $10-12/oz. $35-42/eighth. $70-80/quarter. $135-150/half. $250-275/oz.
SPECIAL NOTE: The SweetLeaf Second Annual Holiday Food Drive runs from Nov. 21-Dec. 21. Earn a raffle ticket for each 10 items donated, or for each $10 cash donation. Prizes are (1st) custom glass piece from a local glass blower, (2nd) 7g of flower medicine and (3rd) 3.5g flower medicine.