Medical-marijuana access point Crown Hill Collective had only been open a week when I visited on a recent Sunday, and it showed. While it isn't the only dispensary around where you're in the bud room when you walk through the front door (which apparently necessitates bulletproof glass between you and budtender), the process of selecting flowers seemed a tad impersonal. There was a definite sense of separation between you and the medicine you were expected to pick, through the glass, without smelling or holding it.
Prepackaged single grams from Crown Hill Collective (click photo to enlarge)
Adding to the impersonal vibe - no fault of reasonably affable budtender Jeff, who was eager to assist me - was the fact that management had made the questionable decision to pre-package all the flowers into one-gram zip-locks. One can make an aesthetic objection to such a practice, since it breaks down larger flowers into smaller pieces, but that's not the important thing. When you want to buy, say, an eighth-ounce, which is 3.5 grams, you have to decide whether you want three grams or four.
Jeff was nice enough not to object when, before I knew the one-gram packaging scheme was in place, I ordered eighths of three separate strains. He just got out four of the one-gram packages for each of them, and then cut me a deal, knocking around five bucks off each of them. Still, though, the amount of over-packaging involved with individual grams is borderline absurd.
The donation scheme at Crown Hill Collective starts at $8 a gram, with $10, $11, and $12 strains available. There weren't a lot of strains at any particular price point, since there were only about 10 total, but at least flowers were available at each level. I selected one $8 sativa-dominant strain, Jedi Death Star; a $10 indica-dominant, Purple Butter; and a top-shelf selection, the indica-dominant old school strain Big Bud.
Big Bud was thickly encrusted with sticky trichomes
Jedi Death Star has a slightly lemony, slightly pepper smell and taste and a typically energetic sativa high. It is definitely worth eight bucks a gram, though it fades a little on the finish. Jedi was noticeably yellower looking than the other two strains I bought at Crown Hill, perhaps due more to curing methods than to innate properties of the flowers themselves.
Purple Butter is something of a creeper strain; just as I was mentally composing ways to say it's not that good, bada bing, there are the effects I was waiting for. While this certainly isn't what I'd call a couchlock strain, Butter's indica dominance is never in doubt once the pain relief and anxiety alleviation kick in (a few tokes, mind you, after you thought they would).
And then there's the $12 Big Bud, its gorgeous namesake flowers thickly encrusted with sticky trichomes. Big Bud doesn't have an overwhelming scent, for a culturally interesting reason: The strain was developed before medical marijuana was legal anywhere, hence odor control was a much larger factor.
Budtender Jeff promised that "good ounce prices" were on the way at Crown Hill Collective; that, along with everything not being prepackaged into one-gram units, will make the co-op more convenient and patient-friendly.