Lifestyle

The 13 Best Recreational Dispensaries in Denver

Published On 04/29/2016 Published On 04/29/2016
native roots
Courtesy of Native Roots (edited)

Whether you're a professional weed reviewer or a recreational stoner, there are a LOT of Metro Denver rec shops to choose from: some are known for their selection, most for their quality, and a few just because they're cool as hell. Here are 13 of our favorites, in no particular order (and excluding medical-only shops).

Oasis Cannabis Super Store

Oasis Cannabis Superstore

Mountain View

If you're ever in the mood to compare different varieties of the same strain, head to Oasis. This place really is a superstore, typically carrying five to 10 strains from three to six different growers, in addition to 15+ strains of the in-house flower. Most people will never see more weed in their lives than when they shop at Oasis -- seriously, if you've got the time, you can literally spend hours looking at and smelling every strain on the shelves and leafing through the THC % Library, a binder filled with test results for every strain on offer here. Overwhelmed by the selection of flower? Check out one of the 20+ brands of edibles and topicals.

Denver Relief

South Broadway/Baker (SoBo)

One of the oldest dispensaries in Denver is located at the heart of the city in the Baker neighborhood. Like most stores, Denver Relief carries a variety of edibles and topicals, but there are also high-quality extracts made from its in-house flower -- many of the award-winning strains here are proprietary and unique to the store.

The Giving Tree of Denver

The Giving Tree

Berkeley

There are many options in this neck of the woods (including two others at the exact same intersection), but if you’re looking to make an edibles pit stop on the Northside, you navigate your ass to The Giving Tree. Boasting one of the best selections of edibles on West 38th (and quite possibly the whole city), this place is packed floor-to-ceiling with tons of different products to choose from. Cheeba Chews? Got 'em. Groovy Granola Balls? Of course. Cherry Lemonade Grenades? You get the idea. After you pick up your precious edibles, head across the street to Buchi Cafe Cubano for a cortadito and a sandwich.

Courtesy of Good Chemistry

Good Chemistry

Capitol Hill

On top of the quality weed and low prices on offer here, each strain is marked with one or more of the following effects: Amplify, Relax, Relieve, and Sleep. Whether you’re a first-time shopper or simply want to try something new, this labeling system takes the guesswork out of your decision. If you can make it to the bigger, newer location in Aurora, you’re in for a treat -- it’s one of the sexiest stores out there.

Preferred Organic Therapy

Preferred Organic Therapy

Cory - Merrill

If your mom were a consumer, this would be the type of store at which she would shop. Not only would she feel more comfortable in this spacious, elegantly designed store than most others, but she'd appreciate the emphasis on consumer education at this spot. If you (or your mom) are interested in learning, grab a terpene wheel while you pick up one of the quality strains or 20+ brands of extracted product on the shelves.

The Clinic

West Highland/Highland Square

Unlike Washington, Colorado is known for having a handful of chain dispensaries -- and The Clinic is one of only two that made this list. The quality product is air-sealed in 1g, 1/16oz, and 1/8oz ziplock sizes, which makes shopping a bit quicker, and you can even grab one of the proprietary Phish-themed strains like Fluffhead or Lemonwheel. In addition to good flower, this place has concentrates from its own facility, The Lab, and seeds from its own genetics company, The Bank. If you’re lucky enough to be by the Highlands location in Highland Square, you’ll find no shortage of local boutique stores, restaurants, and bars waiting for you once you're done shopping. Go on a Tuesday and walk up to El Camino Tavern for $1 tacos that'll demolish your munchies.

Courtesy of GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique

GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique

City Park

If you’re looking for quality product, a solid CBD selection, and a patient-oriented experience, look no further than GroundSwell. Located just blocks from City Park, it's the perfect spot to stop by on a summer Sunday, grab some goodies, and enjoy some City Park Jazz. Any other time, you have your choice of just about every type of cuisine, a number of bars, and the popular Bluebird Theater for some live music within a couple blocks of the store.

Simply Pure

Lower Highlands (LoHi)

If you’re buying weed, edibles, or concentrates in LoHi, Simply Pure is the place to do it. Seriously, if Avanti and a dispensary had a love child, and that love child sold cannabis, it would look like this place. Throw in a loyalty reward program that offers discounts at Jezebel's, the Southern cuisine restaurant a block down the road, and seriously, who doesn't love this place? Grab your herb and go across the street to the speakeasy, Williams & Graham, where you will likely be rejected at the door before going to Occidental or Highland Tap & Burger.

Smokin’ Gun Apothecary

Smokin' Gun Apothecary

Glendale

The layout and design here brings a whole new twist to the retail cannabis-buying experience. Custom built from the ground up, Smokin' Gun features tons of Prohibition motifs and commissioned artwork by Daniel Chavez, like the eagle on the floor and the mural behind the cashiers. And speaking of the cashiers, they sit behind an authentic bank teller window from a New Orleans bank in 1871 (before the beginning of cannabis prohibition), right next to a replica Mississippi jail cell from 1941.

And did we mention the store is technically in the city of Glendale, which means it’s allowed to stay open 'til midnight (as opposed to the 7pm closing time in Denver)? Pick up some weed and head over to the sister business, Shotgun Willie’s: the most notorious strip club in town.

Native Roots

Central Business District

Remember how we said there were two chain stores on this list? Visit any of the 15 Native Roots locations across Colorado and grab one of the same signature, artist-inspired strains that I would in Downtown Denver (like Griz Kush or Big Gigantic’s Cookies n’ Dream). There's also a nice selection of glass and swag, and even the shopping bags are badass -- granted, it's what's inside the bags that matters, but seriously, we defy you to find a cooler shopping bag anywhere else.

The Health Center

The Health Center

University Hills

Believe it or not, there are still some metro Denver cities that actually believe banning stores keeps weed out of their communities. Fortunately, The Health Center's University Hills location is only a few miles from seven of these dry cities, offering top-shelf flower, edibles, and even Julian Marley’s line of flower and vape pens to all those would-be suburban stoners. For everyone else, the Uptown store offers the same selection at a more central location.

Courtesy of Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies

Lower Downtown (LoDo)/Union Station

There are only a few types of people that hang out at the 16th Street Mall in Downtown: tourists, and people who have the fortune (or misfortune) of working there. If you’re in either of these boats and need some fire flower or concentrates, make your way to Natural Remedies on Market Street. Pro tip: Natty Rems’ (as the locals call it) in-house brand of shatter and live resin, CRx, is on point.

Sohum Shah/Thrillist

Kind Love

Glendale

Plenty of shops have top-quality flower, but the real test is how good the resulting concentrates are. Most of my dab-head friends get their shatter at one of a select few stores, and Kind Love is one of them: it carries 20+ varieties of concentrates from Colorado’s top extract manufacturers, and features its own extraction facility. And for all you Colorado residents that want to exercise your constitutional right to grow six plants at home, Kind Love sells clones from its own grow and seeds from The Bank (of The Clinic). Like Smokin’ Gun, Kind Love’s Glendale location allows you to shop until midnight (rec only).

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1. Oasis Cannabis Superstore 5440 W 44th Ave, Denver, CO 80212

If you're ever in the mood to compare different varieties of the same strain, head to Oasis. The superstore typically carries five to 10 strains from three to six different growers, in addition to 15+ strains of the in-house flower. Most people will never see more weed in their lives than when they shop at Oasis, smelling every strain on the shelves and leafing through the THC % Library, a binder filled with test results for every strain on offer here.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Denver Relief 1 Broadway Ste 150A, Denver, CO 80203 (Baker)

One of the oldest dispensaries in Denver is located in the heart of the city in the Baker neighborhood. Like most stores, Denver Relief carries a variety of edibles and topicals, but there are also high-quality extracts made from its in-house flower. The dispensary was founded on the principle that there are other ways to cure health problems without the use of conventional medicine, helping people find ways to eliminate synthetic drugs and find the most appropriate way for each person who visits to medicate with cannabis.

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3. The Giving Tree Dispensary W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211

The Giving Tree is a family-owned business that boasts one of the best selections of edibles on West 38th, and quite possibly the whole city. This place is packed floor-to-ceiling with a variety of different products to choose. The extensive list includes all the usual suspects like Cheeba Chews, Groovy Granola Balls, and Cherry Lemonade Grenades, but also candy bars, crackers, peanut brittle, breath mints, oral sprays, sodas, iced tea, energy shots, lotions, salves, even massage oil...to name a few.

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4. Good Chemistry - Denver Dispensary 330 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203 (Capitol Hill)

Good Chemistry offers quality weed at low prices and is known to thoughtfully assist customers to responsibly navigate the world of cannabis. Each strain here is marked with one or more of the following effects: Amplify, Relax, Relieve, and Sleep. Whether you’re a first-time shopper or simply want to try something new, this labeling system takes the guesswork out of your decision.

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5. Preferred Organic Therapy 1569 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80222

Preferred Organic Therapy fosters a comfortable environment in this spacious, elegantly designed store. It places a lot of emphasis on consumer education, and if you're interested in learning, grab a terpene wheel while you pick up any number of the quality strains or 20+ brands of extracted product on the shelves.

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6. The Clinic Highlands 3460 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

At The Clinic, the quality products are air-sealed in 1g, 1/16oz, and 1/8oz ziplock bags, which makes shopping nice and quick. In addition to good flower, this place has concentrates from its own facility, The Lab, and seeds from its own genetics company, The Bank. The staff here is very knowledgeable and professional, eager to assist in any way they can.

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7. GroundSwell Cannabis Boutique 3121 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206 (City Park)

Located just blocks from City Park, GroundSwell combines both high-end boutique and a down-home atmosphere to create a welcoming environment. With medical and recreational use in mind, this spot has something for everyone using only the highest quality ingredients: viola extracts, cannabis-infused drinks, candies, and more. They also offer one-on-one patient consultations, by appointment only.

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8. simplypure , Denver, CO (Highland)

This LoHi pot shop is one of a kind, which is saying a lot for a dispensary in a city as weed-addled as Denver. It's worth becoming a repeat customer at SimplyPure to stock up on their extensive variety of weed, edibles, concentrates, and pre-rolls and join their seriously dope loyalty program -- be a frequent shopper and score discounts at Jezebel's, the Southern cuisine restaurant a block down the road. Seriously, buttermilk biscuits and munchies, what could be better?

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9. Native Roots Dispensary Denver Downtown 1555 Champa Street, Denver, CO 80202 (Cbd)

Native Roots has several locations across Colorado, but they all carry the same signature artist-inspired strains like Griz Kush or Big Gigantic’s Cookies n’ Dream. The Downtown Denver location also has a nice selection of glass and other gear, so you can stock up and get your goods in their awesome shopping bags.

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10. Smokin Gun Apothecary 492 S. Colorado Blvd, Glendale, CO 80246

The layout here brings a whole new twist to the retail cannabis-buying experience. Custom built from the ground up, Smokin' Gun features tons of Prohibition motifs and commissioned artwork by Daniel Chavez, like the eagle on the floor and the mural behind the cashiers. And did we mention the store is technically in the city of Glendale, which means it’s allowed to stay open 'til midnight (as opposed to the 7pm closing time in Denver)?

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11. The Health Center Uptown 1736 Downing St, Denver, CO 80218

Believe it or not, there are still some Denver cities that think banning dispensaries will keep weed out of their communities. Fortunately, The Health Center's University Hills location is only a few miles from seven of these dry cities, offering top-shelf flower, edibles, and even Julian Marley’s line of flower and vape pens to all those would-be suburban stoners. For everyone else, the Uptown store offers the same selection at a more central location.

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12. Natural Remedies 1620 Market St Ste 5W, Denver, CO 80202

If you've got questions about your bud, this is the place for answers. Natural Remedies has a super-informed staff who can help you pick the best option for your needs -- without making you feel like a newb. And with myriad varieties of sativa, Indica, edibles, and concentrates to try out, we can assure you -- you'll have questions.

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13. Kind Love 4380 E Alameda Ave, Glendale, CO 80246

Slinging locally grown cannabis since 2010, Kind Love is one of Colorado's most popular dispensaries. This shop supplies a ridiculous selection of shatter, wax, live resin, and other non-smokables, and stocks its own brand of concentrates and in-house grown flower alongside Green Dot, Craft710, and Incredible Extracts. Clones, too, are available for those interested in home growing.

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