I’ve only been to Colorado Springs twice in my three years as a resident here in the Centennial State. One night was spent rather regrettably at one of the “vape lounges” in town that operated and looked more like a childhood friend’s basement than a tax paying business. My other evening in The Springs was a delightful Thanksgiving (Dabsgiving) celebration filled with singing and musical instruments, wonderful food, family bonding (not my family), drunken arguments and temper tantrums.
I always envisioned the next time I visited would be to see the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame or training for the Olympics. Sadly that is not the case. The intended purpose of this journey was to drop of a rig to be repaired by the glass artist G-Off. The female piece met its demise while I was attempting to remove an e-nail after weeks of non-use. The residual oil hardened to create a cement-like bond between the metal and glass. As I put a flame to the rig to loosen up the reclaim and wiggle the nail out I knew instinctively that it was a mistake and that regret would be my next emotion.
The prospect of driving 2.5 hours south was made more bearable when I realized that Colorado Springs is only 65 or so miles from Denver and would take far less driving time. It was like time traveling when I received those few extra hours back. Deciding to make a day out of the affair, I rolled a fat cone and jumped on to I-25 South straight into the morning rush. My timing couldn’t have been worse. I had forgotten that normal people keep normal hours.
Armed with a collection of the best rock CD’s from the mid-nineties and a healthy memory of the lyrics, I cruised the highway echoing the sentiments of Cake, Green Day and The Presidents of the United States of America. I was all by myself and no one was looking, belting out the songs of my youth while barreling down the road put me into a trance and the next thing I knew, I didn’t know where I was.
There is no shortage of cannabis is Colorado Springs. Over 100 dispensaries are licensed in the area with scores of infused products and hash coming from the region as well. I have blunts, will travel. But its quality bud that I’m after, so I’ve got some detective work to do.
First time impressions and shopping experience make all the difference to me. I’ve walked out of shops without making a purchase because I didn’t like the vibe, the bud or both. Cannabis is a very personal thing and I like many connoisseurs am quite discerning with the places I frequent.
Strawberry Fields MMJ occupies an old residential location on Colorado Ave on the West Side of Colorado Springs. Around to the back of the property a covered patio with bench seating overlooks modest greenery and the surrounding neighborhood. Inside the store John Fogarty rails ‘Born on the Bayou’ across the sound system. The reception area is inviting with its leather couch and non-cannabis publications to thumb through in the event of a wait time. On the walls hang many ‘Best Of Colorado Springs’ awards.
Inside Strawberry Fields’ cultivation facility. (Photo by Strawberry Fields.)
Chelsea greeted me and took my credentials to check me in as a first time patient. Quick and easy, no muss no fuss; I was back into the patient room in a jiff. The two large rooms that make up the dispensary are smooth. Custom carpentry impressively frames the picturesque store. The entry room is filled with shelves, racks, and cases featuring Colorado’s most trusted and well-known brands — edibles, tinctures, topicals, sodas, patches, pens, cartridges, and clones from SF’s own garden ache to go home with you.
The second room is filled flower and concentrates. Their house line of wax, shatter, butter and live resin shares the space with a few third party vendor offerings. The jars of bud run the gamut from classic strains to new fangled hybrids and are presented on upon request or suggestion. Northern Lights, Headband and Amnesia Haze sat comfortable next to Plushberry and something called Viper Cookies. The walls are adorned with local art depicting iconic movies; The Big Lebowski, Raising Arizona and Pulp Fiction all get the Pop Art treatment. The vibe is strong at Strawberry Fields.
Guiding me through the shopping experience was Michael from East Texas. He’s 4th generation military and was brought up with a less than liberal viewpoint on cannabis and its place in society. The U.S. Army brought him out this way and he hadn’t ever tried cannabis before in his youth. He was highly against it.
“That’s how I was raised. I couldn’t have seen myself doing this back then.”
He bluntly put it.
After educating himself on the benefits of cannabis he jumped head first in to the talent pool and has proudly been working at Strawberry Fields ever since bringing his military precision to an exciting new career.
Michael sent me on my way with a few stinky nugs of the Plushberry I had been eying earlier in my visit. He left me with the knowledge that Strawberry Fields has a recreational location in Pueblo, Colorado that offers medical pricing to patients shopping in the retail store. My day was just getting started and I couldn’t wait to continue exploring Colorado Springs.
Macro image of Plushberry.
Black Cherry Soda X Space Queen
Strawberry Fields, 3404 W Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80904.
The deep green hues of these flowers are sparsely broken up by dark magenta color that doesn’t look quite as purple in person as displayed in the image above. The amber hairs decorating this sample of Plushberry is complimented by an average covering of shimmering kief.
Boasting a terpene profile similar to it’s parent strain, Black Cherry Soda, Plushberry also smells sweet like berries. Once a nug is broken up, the earthy and floral scents come forward.
Preparing to roll a Plushberry blunt, I was able to use my fingers to break up these flowers. With fingers smelling like sweet berries and cannabis, I inhaled thick, smooth smoke that tasted more earthy than sweet but still like berries. The blunt burned evening and mostly white ash was all that remained.
I grinned lazily as the day’s stress dissipated after my second hit of the blunt. In true creeper fashion, my limbs followed suite about halfway through the sesh. Not quite drowsy and definitely not couch locked, I was thoroughly relaxed by the time I finished. Plushberry may not be suitable for daytime use, but it’s perfect for after work or a day off.
I had neglected to refill my revelry bag with supplies prior to departing Denver for The Springs and in my haste I was left with no ways to consume the cannabis I would be purchasing in the near future. Luckily for me The Smoker’s Emporium across the street from my first stop provided me the opportunity to re-up on blunt wraps, crutches (filter tips) and eye drops.
The emporium had the requisite selection of Chinese glass, hookahs, heady pieces and e-cig batteries & attachments. Additionally, the emporium offers many sizes of the classic “ball & stem” crack pipe. Naturally this arose my curiosity and suspicions.
The shop manager assured me they were incense burners and not the tools of Schedule 1 drug users despite bongs, rigs and pipes lining his shelves and his pockets. My immediate reaction was to laugh loudly at his product description. They were clearly a convenience item being sold up at the register along with the cigarettes, lighters, blunts and one-hitters.
I asked if they sold a lot of incense burners?
“At least a box a day!” he proclaimed with a grin so smug that I had to consider leaving the store without making a purchase. But I needed those wraps so I let slide his trespasses and was on my way to buy some cannabis from Indispensary.
Indispensary is a dual location business serving the medical cannabis community in Colorado Springs. I visited the West Colorado Avenue location, which resides on a prime corner lot with lush foliage keeping the daytime traffic at bay and muffling the sounds of the cityscape.
I would be guaranteed member pricing today as a first time patient, which is a benefit also extended to me when I visit their second location some time in the future. Dane who came on board here at Indispensary after working in the garden for a competing dispensary in the area enjoys the daily interactions with patients more than cultivating commercially. He quickly let me know that they were having a sale and I could get an ounce of their bud for $100, non-members paying only $20 more.
A sample of the Purple Urkle from Indispensary.
Once the jars started opening I got hit with the funk; there was cheese and gas and fruit and earth fighting for space in my nasal cavity. In the end they were all winners, but I narrowed it down to Purple Urkle and Lemon Thai. The Lemon Thai was particularly pungent and hit me from all angles. Depending on the season both indoor and outdoor grown cannabis will be available.
A few novel ideas that I have not seen anywhere before are offered at Indispensary. The pre-roll 1 gram blunts were expertly pearled and came in a variety of strains. I’m pretty specific when it comes to how blunts are presented but these offered an authentic and aesthetically pleasing alternative to the role your own variety. It’s nice to have somebody else do the work sometimes.
The strain-specific kief similarly presented a new concept that I haven’t come across in the other dispensaries. The small jars were filled with highly potent delicacies sure to supercharge your next joint or bowl pack.
I walked out of Indispensary an ounce heavier than when I arrived and couldn’t have been happier about the weight gained.
Uncertain, but likely Thailand Sativa X Hawaiian.
Indispensary, 3044 West Colorado Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
Lemon Thai cannabis from Indispensary.
Dusted with kief, these Lemon Thai flowers are so light and airy that they seem almost weightless. Possibly displaying it’s tropical roots, the green leaves are lighter in color (almost neon) and the hairs are bright orange.
Before breaking open the flowers, the scent (terpene) that reaches the nose first is largely pastoral with this sample of Lemon Thai. Once torn, however, I was greeted by one of the sweetest tropical scents of citrus (limonene), reminiscent more of grapefruit than lemon, pine (pinene) and fuel I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.
Easy enough to break up with my fingers, I packed a glass spoon pipe and used a hemp wick to light it hoping to taste the citrusy sweetness. Signs that they were cured and flushed properly, the smoke was thick and quite smooth, and the flowers burned down to mostly white ash.
My skin began to tingle and my limbs felt lighter after inhaling Lemon Thai three times. Clear-headed and energizing in smaller quantities, this strain may spark your creative flow and promote uninterrupted concentration. Arguably one of the best wake-and-bake strains, many may be able to consume Lemon Thai before work for long-lasting relief from symptoms of conditions like depression, stress, anxiety or chronic-pain.
Because the effects of just a few hits of Lemon Thai are largely what most typically describe as being ‘sativa-like‘ without even the slightest raciness, it may also be a good option for someone suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) or the ultra-endurance athletes who use cannabis as a pre or post workout tool. Consuming more Lemon Thai may cause extreme lethargy.
- Painting, writing, or making music
- Taking your dog for a walk
- Watching a movie
In musical lore Maggie’s Farm is one of Bob Dylan’s most divisive tunes. It represented his change from folk music hero to burgeoning rock genius. The consensus on his new approach was mixed. That is not the case with Maggie’s Farm of the cannabis world.
Maggie’s Farm, based in Colorado Springs is universally well-liked and constantly raising the bar for dispensary operations and cannabis cultivation. Of their six locations the most convenient to my current position was the Fillmore Street outpost. I pulled up Dylan’s 1965 Newport Folk Festival rendition of Maggie’s Farm on my phone and cruised on over. This location is medical only but recreational shoppers can head to the Manitou Springs or either Pueblo location for the same top-notch experience.
The folks over on Maggie’s Farm do it little different than the boys and girls in Denver. To begin, everything grown on the farm is started from seed. No clones are being propagated for Maggie’s bud. This methodology is counter to common commercial practices but has been producing quality cannabis since 2010. To further differentiate Maggie’s Farm from other kids in the sandbox, natural sunlight is the only source of illumination for their plants. The farm is Clean Green certified four years running which mirrors USDA Organic criteria while they grow their crops in all natural soil. They even use spring water to feed the plants opposed to the run of the mill and impure tap water growing the majority of bud in Colorado.
The interior of the Fillmore location is clean and professional. Black leather chairs and modern coffee tables warm the reception area. The wall mounted HD TV playing the Summer Olympics is reminiscent of my family practitioners office. Luckily there are no screaming babies here, just Screamin’ OG’s. The walls held many best of awards from The Colorado Springs Gazette.
Behind the closed doors of the bud room I was exposed to the labor of love on the farm when Gabe started to pop the lids off of the jars filling the display cases. Each selection had been hand trimmed and presented beautifully. I arrived too late to take advantage of the early bird special (15% off the entire order before noon) but made a mental note for the next time I visit Maggie’s Farm.
After a bit of internal back and forth I couldn’t make my mind up between Bubbleberry and Sour Nightmare. I put myself in this type of decision-making dilemma quite regularly and will more often than not choose whichever strain my budtender prefers. Gabe suggested I take a look then at the Alien Bubba Berry we had neglected to look at prior. Blueberry crossed with Alien Bubba put my senses into frenzy. I coughed manically after a large whiff, unprepared for the ferocity that would fill my face.
The strain was new to the shelf and had only been harvested once prior. Gabe hadn’t even had the chance to try this one. I would try it for both of us. Leaving the dispensary with the new release had me clicking my heels like Ron Santo and salivating to burn the Alien Bubba Berry down.
Alien Bubba Berry
Blueberry X Alien Bubba
Maggie’s Farm, 818 E Fillmore St, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
Reminding me of the grass in late fall, a dense covering of shimmering trichomes and burnt-orange hairs decorate the mostly light green flowers in this sample of Alien Bubba Berry.
The sweet, scent of berries dominates the terpene profile in these Alien Bubba Berry flowers. Likely from beta-caryophyllene, myrcene and linalool, I also smelled spicy, herbal and floral notes.
Consumed out of a glass sherlock pipe, the smoke was smooth, and the fruity herbal taste remained on my palate for several seconds.
A mild onset of effects, I almost didn’t notice the weightlessness creep into my arms and legs. After the third hit, my eyes narrowed and a lazy grin spread across my face. Colors became brighter, a sensory effect that I tend to enjoy. Fifteen minutes later, intense skin tingling sensations covered my body, and I was cool, calm, collected and content. I could have easily floated off to sleep, but the urge was easy enough to resist.
- Netflix marathon
- Sunset stroll
- Museum or planetarium visit
- Theater or comedy show