Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis consumption, so Colorado cannabis dispensaries have long been at the forefront of the nation’s cannabis industry. Today, recreational consumers and medical patients alike can choose from a number of dispensaries specializing in everything from award-winning cannabis extracts to edibles suited to a variety of dietary needs.
And, with many companies bringing their wellness-related experience to the recreational market after years of advising medical patients, anyone can find the right product to help achieve their wellness goals.
In this article, Jointly will highlight some of the best dispensaries in Denver, Colorado. Of course, this list is not exhaustive. If your favorite dispensary is missing, give us a shout on social media! And if you’re a little far from these dispensaries, check out Jointly to buy legal cannabis products such as CBD, CBN, and more and have them shipped discreetly to your door.
Simply Pure can trace its roots back to before recreational cannabis sales became legal in Colorado, with the company offering its first cannabis-infused cooking class in 2009.
The class caught a good deal of media attention, and CEO Wanda James opened the first Simply Pure dispensary the following year.
“We were the first cannabis edible company in the world that specialized in a healthy alternative to what was currently on the edibles market,” the company states on its website.
“We were the first to cook with whole bud and guarantee consistent dosing by having a complete staff of professional certified chefs working in a commercial kitchen. The result was creating gourmet sauces and confections that guaranteed purity and consistency.”
Today, Simply Pure continues to offer a huge range of edibles, including THC and CBD capsules for customers who might worry about adding extra sugar to their diet in the form of more traditional edibles like gummies or baked treats.
In addition to its wide selection of edibles, Simply Pure carries a variety of flower, tinctures, concentrates, and topicals.
One notable feature of the Simply Pure online menu is the option to filter products by “activities” such as “stimulate my mind,” “get active,” or “get relief” or “feelings” such as “relaxed,” “creative,” or “energetic.”
For consumers looking to use cannabis in a purposeful, goal-oriented way, these filters can be a great tool for getting the right products even without the advice of a budtender.
Terrapin Care Station has been a standby of the Colorado cannabis scene since its founding as a medical-only facility in Boulder in 2009.
The dispensary has grown consistently since then, adapting to the recreational market and opening its first Denver storefront in 2016. The company now has six retail locations across the state.
Terrapin’s medical background means its budtenders have the expertise to guide visitors to the products best suited to their wellness goals. As an added bonus for consumers who like to combine cannabis with outdoor exercise, the company has made environmental sustainability a key aspect of its business strategy and ethical outlook.
“We pride ourselves on being a leader in minimizing environmental footprints associated with the cannabis industry,” the company states.
“As a business in a new industry, Terrapin wants to serve as an influencer. We have a chance to craft a cannabis industry that is forward-thinking by developing responsible green production practices in the early stages to carve a more sustainable future.”
That emphasis on being Earth-friendly shows up throughout the company’s operation, from its packaging — manufactured using “renewable polyethylene produced from Brazilian sugarcane ethanol” — to its growing operations, which seeks to minimize the use of electricity and water while enforcing consistent recycling and composting practices.
Lastly, while not yet available in Denver, Terrapin made headlines in February 2023 when the company debuted the state’s first legally-compliant cannabis vending machine at one of its Aurora locations. According to local news outlet KDVR, Terrapin plans to roll out more of the machines in the coming year.
Terrapin’s Denver location carries a full range of the company’s in-house cannabis products as well as options from a variety of popular brands. Product options include flower, concentrates, edibles, and topicals.
Ajoya takes a unique approach to selling cannabis, placing a heavy emphasis on helping customers find the right products for their specific needs while feeling free to explore the full potential cannabis holds.
“Everything we do comes back to education,” Joey Gindi, who co-founded the company with his brother Shaun, tells MG Magazine.
“Even if someone comes in and knows what they want, we will still try to educate them about different products and present them with other ways to get the experience they’re looking for.”
The brothers, who owned and operated another dispensary before establishing Ajoya, launched the company with the “cannacurious” in mind, MG reports.
The magazine notes that Ajoya and its founders have their eye on new generations of cannabis consumers who are coming to the plant from outside the traditional stoner culture many dispensaries cater to.
“Shaun and I asked ourselves, ‘How can we create the kind of space that makes new consumers feel welcomed and comfortable to shop and get their questions answered? What will the next two, three, four waves of consumers be looking for?” Gindi says.
With stores located in the western and north-western ends of Greater Denver, Ajoya is also a great pit stop for outdoors enthusiasts looking to elevate their experience at Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding country.
Unlike some of the larger operations on this list, A Cut Above doesn’t operate its own line of in-house cannabis products. The dispensary more than makes up for this, however, with its massive selection of flower, concentrates, vaporizers, drinks, and edibles.
A Cut Above’s wide product variety has made it a favorite spot for customers who enjoy exploring new products and tweaking their consumption habits to fit their needs. Local media outlets have taken note as well, with Westword granting the dispensary its “Best Selection” award in 2021 and 2022.
“It's best to check out A Cut Above's menu online or make a to-do list before going into the dispensary, where you'll find more flower than at a Home Depot nursery,” Westword reports.
“Denver's premier growers like to release their newest strains and harvests at A Cut Above, and eighths and quarters are always priced ahead of the curve,” the news outlet adds.
“Few dispensaries in Colorado can match A Cut Above's mix of exclusivity and affordability, and that's why it stands out among dozens of dispensaries — despite being nestled in the inner corner of a parking lot on South Broadway's Green Mile.”
Some advice from Westword’s 2021 commentary on A Cut Above: “Show up mid-day or during slow hours if you can, because we're not the only ones who know about the menu.”
“Native Roots remains one of the largest Colorado cannabis brands that hasn't abandoned its Rocky Mountain ties,” writes Westword’s Tom Mitchel in an early 2023 interview with Native Roots’ executive team.
Since the company launched in 2010 as a cultivation and extraction facility for medical dispensaries, Native Roots has established 20 retail locations throughout the Centennial State serving both medical and recreational customers.
Despite the company’s heritage as a growing and extraction operation — two functions that are still alive and well in the form of its in-house Green Label, Onyx Label, and Gold Label product lines — Native Roots also carries edibles, flower, vaporizers, tinctures, and topicals from leading Colorado brands such as Veritas and national companies like Wana.
Wellness-oriented consumers will appreciate the variety on the Native Roots menu, which features products like Genius Drops from edibles brand 1906, which contain a blend of cannabis, medicinal plants, and caffeine intended to boost focus, or a variety of full-spectrum concentrates noted for their distinct terpene profiles.
In keeping with the company’s status as a leader in Colorado cannabis, Native Roots was also the first to acquire a permit to deliver cannabis products in 2020, according to Forbes. The first deliveries were made in Boulder, but the company now also offers delivery in Denver and, as of February 2023, has been in the process of acquiring the permissions to deliver to customers in Aurora.
Native Roots remains involved in pushing for legislation regarding other cannabis-related social and political matters as well, including a Valentine’s Day collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation to caution cannabis consumers against driving while under the influence.
“At the Capitol, our industry has an opportunity — and what we see as a responsibility — to educate the historically large class of new legislators on the history of cannabis policy in the state, the struggles we face as an industry, and the work we are doing to uplift social equity in cannabis and our communities,” Native Roots public policy and affairs manager Liz Zukowski tells Westword.
“Ten years post-adult-use legalization in Colorado looks a lot different than where we were in the early days, and the continued professionalism and institutional growth we see in the industry is an asset that legislators need to leverage.”
Green Dragon is one of Colorado’s largest dispensary chains, and industry players operating on a national scale have taken note.
In fact, in 2021, delivery company Eaze purchased Green Dragon’s fifteen Colorado dispensaries (four of which are in Denver) along with two locations in Florida for an undisclosed price.
Like many large-scale operations in Colorado, Green Dragon produces its own lines of cannabis products, which it sells alongside flower, concentrates, edibles, vaporizers, and topicals from leading Colorado-based and national brands.
“Our thing is it’s not just a Green Dragon brand in disguise,” co-CEO Alex Levine tells MJ Brand Insights. “They have to stand on their own merit and compete with other products.”
Green Dragon’s in-house products include the Magnus line of concentrates and vaporizers and the Fuel Concentrates line of vaporizer cartridges.
One wellness-focused favorite from the in-house lines is the aloe vera-enriched body butter from the Le Remedie line of lotions, recommended by Out Front Magazine and featuring a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC intended to provide relaxation and pain relief.
Between its operations in Colorado and Michigan, High Level Health has been showered with awards — including multiple recognitions from High Times’ Cannabis Cup 2022 People’s Choice competition.
The company exclusively stocks its own products when it comes to flower and concentrates. A full list of the company’s award-winning flower strains can be found here.
“We use the term ‘natural’ to showcase the best methods, replicating how cannabis grows in nature,” the company states on its website. “Each plant is carefully hand-watered and inspected daily for quality and health.”
For edibles, vaporizers, and topicals, the company stocks leading cannabis brands like Wana and Coda alongside its own products.
One item from outside the in-house line is a 20:1 CBD to THC ratio lavender relief cream from Escape Artists, which may have its relieving properties boosted by the presence of linalool from the lavender.
“Relief Cream is amazing for those moments when you may have pushed your workout, hike, or ski/snowboarding trip too hard,” High Level Health writes on its website.
The dispensary also offers a variety of “Drops” by the brand Bliss. These are unique, precision low-dose edibles in the form of gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free tablets — perfect for consumers looking for cannabis-based relief while operating around dietary restrictions.
High Level Health operates three storefronts in Denver, all of which are close to the city center and perfect for visitors interested in picking up relief or a treat before setting out to explore tourist attractions like the state capitol or the Denver Zoo.
With three locations in the Denver area and a vertically integrated business strategy known for its high-quality cannabis flower, Colorado Harvest Company is a consistent local favorite.
About ninety percent of the flower sold by Colorado Harvest at its dispensaries comes from the company’s own growing facilities, CEO Tim Cullen tells Growers Network.
The company tries to use the most natural growing, Cullen says, though it has faced some challenges
“There was a point in time when we only used OMRI-certified products. OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) is the body that reviews pesticides for organic food production. We really wanted to use those products,” he says.
“Then the state of Colorado had this whole to-do with pesticides because the EPA verbiage says that use inconsistent with the labeling is a violation of federal law. And, of course, it doesn't list cannabis as one of the uses.”
Despite these challenges when it comes to communicating what sets Colorado Harvest flower apart, the company continues to focus on simplicity during the growing process, utilizing coir as a growing medium and minimizing pesticide use, according to Cullen.
“Agriculture is old. People have been doing it for 4,000 years. I'm not sure that Colorado Harvest Company is doing something mind-blowingly new, but one of the most important things is to keep it pretty simple,” he says.
In addition to the company’s own products, Colorado Harvest also carries , and sometimes even features exclusive product drops from popular producers like 710 Labs (famous for its high quality concentrates and gluten-free rotini pasta-tipped pre-rolled joints).
Unlike most long standing Colorado cannabis companies, Verde Natural can trace its roots back to California’s famed Humboldt County, where owner Chuck Blackton mastered the art of growing cannabis outdoors with an “organically-fed, no-till living soil” method.
Blackton, who has claimed to be the original breeder of the legendary Lemon Skunk, moved to Colorado and adapted his outdoor growing process to work for an indoor facility. The first Verde Natural dispensary opened its doors to medical patients in 2009.
Living soil has seen growing popularity with “cultivators who hope to graduate beyond premixed fertilizers and bagged dirt,” MJ Biz Daily reports.
“Living soil is often thought of as planting material that centers on compost and has an active microbiology and biodiversity, which can include worms and their castings, protozoa, healthy bacteria, amoebas, kelp extracts and even glacial rock dust,” the news outlet adds.
At Verde Natural, growers supplement the use of living soil by hand watering its plants with the company’s unique blend of homebrewed compost teas, fish emulsion and molasses, according to the company website.
In addition to Verde Natural’s line of living soil-grown flower, the company also offers the DabLogic line of concentrates and vaporizers produced from the same high-quality flower. For edibles, tinctures, and topicals, Verde Natural brings in some excellent outside options, such as the Tastebudz brand 10:1 rosin gummies.
With their high CBD to THC ratio, gummies like these make a great choice for users looking for cannabis-based relief while avoiding the potential negative side effects that too much THC can cause on its own.
“We’re Colorado’s first extract-focused cannabis dispensary, and while we’ve since grown into flower, we continue to stay true to our roots and offer high-quality cannabis extracts day in and day out,” Apothecary Farms states on its website.
The dispensary’s focus on concentrates makes Apothecary Farms a great choice for wellness-oriented consumers looking for high-strength products to help deal with everything from pain relief to falling asleep more quickly.
At the core of the Apothecary Farms concentrate menu is its line of Ambrosia brand live resin extracts, created by freezing cannabis plants immediately after harvesting them to preserve the full
By taking these steps to preserve the plant’s terpenes, Apothecary Farms’ Ambrosia products give users an edge when using cannabis to achieve a wellness goal, whether that goal is to start the day with a little more energy or wind things down in the evening.
The Ambrosia product line includes the traditional live resin as well as live hash rosin, batter, high cannabinoid full spectrum extract (HCFSE), high terpene full spectrum extract (HTFSE), sugar, and a solvent-free version of the live resin.
Also available are concentrate-infused prerolls, which can be more potent and more flavorful than a standard joint.
The quality of Apothecary Farms’ products has garnered more than 15 industry awards, marketing director Brent McDonald tells Voyage Denver.
While not a dispensary, Tetra Lounge has operated as a members-only cannabis consumption lounge for several years. The dispensary and social space won the legal fight to open its doors to the public in 2022 thanks to changes in Denver’s cannabis hospitality program.
“The goal has always been to prove the model to the city. Back when I opened in 2018, they just released the first hospitality rules, which didn't allow smoking. The plan was to get the license with that smoking provision," Tetra Lounge owner Dewayne Benjamin tells Westword.
“People travel from all around the world to smoke cannabis in Denver, and a lot of them don't know how it affects them or where they can consume.”
Set and setting — your mental state, physical environment, and the people you’re with — are key factors in determining whether or how a cannabis consumer achieves the wellness benefits they’re hoping for.
By creating a welcoming, casual, and open environment staffed by expert budtenders, Tetra offers an excellent setting for beginners and seasoned stoners alike to comfortably experience products they’ve picked up from Denver’s dispensaries — including the outstanding options featured on this list.
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