For the last 4 Plus years I've been going in and out of Denvers legal recreational Cannabis dispensaries. There are a lot of them. Colorado has over 1000 recreational Dispensaries with most of them being in Denver. The thing about Denver dispensaries is they all sell marijuana but they all tend to differentiate in about 6 ways.


  • Security
  • How they Sell Their Bud
  • Their Quality OF Bud 
  • What Other Products They Sell
  • Their Prices
  • Their Service


When it comes to security, you would think every store might be the same. Some stores don't even have a security guard. Some stores use ex-military outfits and fully armed guards while other stores its simply a store employee looking at your license. The difference is mainly in the vibe that a security guard with a badge and gun can have on the mind of the customer. The one thing that is constant is that every store does check the ids - and most check a few times. Some stores do not accept vertical IDs others are more relaxed. I was in one store that wouldn't let me in because of a crack in my id. So it all varies.

How they sell their Flower

When you go into each dispensary once you show them ids, the next thing you will notice is that each dispensary sells their flower differently. Some stores have it in big jars where they will weigh out grams right in front of you, other have a menu and pre-weighed out selections, some stores you walk around and each bud is on display with a description and you usually take a tag up to the counter ( like IKEA) to make your purchase. Each method has its dis- advantages and advantages. For one, I like to have them weigh out buds in front of me so I have more control over what i'm getting. Too many times I've gotten back to my car with pre-weighed bud - opened the container and was not happy. On the other hand if its busy and there is a line and I don't have too much time , just grabbing a pre-weighed gram is good enough. The main thing is when the stores do pre-weigh their flower if it constantly looks good when you do get it home then its not a problem. 

The quality of their Flower

Lets face it not all bud is created equal. I've often thought the best way to test if a dispensary has good growers is to give each dispensary the same clone and let them all grow it, at the end see how they compare. I say that because it all starts with good seed. Good Genetics. So you may find blue dream at 200 dispensaries but what genetics and cut of blue dream are they growing? That being said There is a lot of what I call Cost-Co bud out there and then you have the Boutique shops. Also Cure times and methods can set companies apart. The low humidity In Colorado tends to leave most flower dry after being exposed in stores day after day. Some companies have started using Nitrogen as a way to keep the bud Fresh. Here is a tip : You cant judge a bud by the look of the dispensary, some of the best bud comes from little hole in the walls but once again that is not saying you cant have both if you know where to look.

What other products they sell

Every dispensary sells Flower, but what other products each dispensary sells also sets each dispensary apart. Aside from bud, you have,Edibles,Concentrates,Lotions,Cooking Items,Tinctures,Sex Products,Vape cartridges,Anything you can basically put THC in shows up on the shelves in dispensaries. How much of a selection of all these other products is what separates the dispensaries. Some stores just focus on their bud and only offer a few edibles and Vape pens, other stores have almost every edible on the market and everything else you could think off. Most dispensaries are in the middle with a good balance of selection of other THC products. No dispensaries sell tobacco products so you have to Buy your blunt wraps at a convenience store. Pipes and accessories are also sold at most dispensary and the cost is usually reasonable.

Their Prices

This is where locals have the advantage. You tend to find out who has the best prices on each thing your looking for and as a result most people usually get their bud from one place, concentrates from another. For flower the average price is about $10-$12 gram. there are so many dispensaries nowadays that you can find ounces for $80 regularly. Most stores sell the bud by the gram and an eighth is usually $30-$35 an eight ( this is after taxes). Concentrates are also cheap with wax and shatter averaging at $25. You can get deals on live resin and when you do the average price is about $35 a gram. I know a store that sells $15 grams of live resin once a week when usually its $75 a gram. some stores have really cheap concentrate prices and when you look at their flower you understand why. Since you cant see the bud in concentrates, if a dispensary bud is not up to par they can easily just turn it into concentrate and sell it cheap. Once again that is not saying all cheap concentrates are from low quality bud, and that is also not saying that all expensive concentrate is worth the price. That being said its a good time to be a consumer because over all you can get really good marijuana at really good prices these days.

Their Service

Like any retail store, each dispensary has its own vibe and its own level of customer service. Some dispensaries have really knowledgeable bud tenders and staff where as others you may know more about the product then them. Most dispensaries overall, the staff are excited and eager to help. Its good when the bud tenders consume the product and can recommend whats good that week for that store. A good question to ask them is what they recommend or have been smoking. If they don't hesitate and push something immediately towards you - that is a good sign. Most free magazines in town are full of advertisements where you can see the deals that week, dispensaries also usually send out texts with flash specials and things as well. 

Advice if your New to Denver

If you have read everything so far hopefully you have a better understanding of what sets each dispensary apart. The best advice I give people is when buying flower -to just buy a little bit at each dispensary - get a gram of this and a gram of that. Sample a lot. Try a lot. When buying concentrates look for deals - usually stores have a large batch and able to sell it cheaply. Edibles are about the same price where ever you go and they are made from companies outside the dispensary,so usually it is the same all around. If all you want is edibles find a super center type store where you can get a large variety or one of the dispensaries where you walk around and look at the products. Once you have been to a few dispensaries you will start seeing which ones you like and why you like them. I still find new dispensaries all the time, there are so many, and that is part of the fun !