Lala Herzog trims marijuana leaves at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, a unique combination of pot shop and 40,000-square-foot grow in Denver. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

‘What heaven looks like’: Take a tour of a Colorado pot shop and its grow

Pot critic Jake Browne offers insider buying tips and an inside peek at Medicine Man's unique combination of dispensary and attached 40,000-square-foot grow

“What’s it like inside a pot shop in Colorado?”

Whenever I travel, this is the first question people ask once they learn I’m visiting from Colorado. I’m always quick to pull out my phone and share photos of marijuana flower inside jars, concentrate and wax by the gram, the rainbow of options in the edibles cases.

WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

I remember my first experience inside a Colorado rec shop when I first moved to the state in November 2014. I nervously walked into Frosted Leaf on Colfax and immediately smelled the sweet, skunky scent of cannabis in the air. I held my head, um, high, told myself, “I can do this,” and promptly tried to walk past the security desk through a very locked door. Rookie mistake.

The security guard laughed, and I fumbled for my wallet to give her my Pennsylvania drivers license.

“First time in our shop?” she asked.

It was. And not only that, it was my first time in any shop. The guard buzzed me through the door, and I was greeted by my first-ever budtender. She walked me through all of the different strains, and I picked a smorgasbord of flower by the gram to try out for my first Mile High high.

A year later, I’ve visited shops all over the state and have learned through my own mistakes, by asking questions of our pot critics and by finding stores with knowledgeable budtenders whom I can trust.

“What’s it like inside a pot shop in Colorado?”

Marijuana Trimming
Getting an up-close and personal look at a pot shop can help dispel fears and make the experience more enjoyable. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file)

The answer has changed since that first visit, but what I really want to do each time I encounter the question is just bring the asker to a shop. Enter Periscope. Live video streaming was the answer, so pot critic Jake Browne and I got up early on a Saturday morning and drove to Medicine Man’s Denver shop.

WATCH MEDICINE MAN’S CEO ANDY WILLIAMS ON THE CANNABIST SHOW

We waited in line with the other early risers and used the time to get to know our viewers better. As soon as the door was unlocked, we headed in.

“What are you excited about right now?” That’s how Jake started our visit, and the critic says it’s the first question everyone should ask the budtender in any pot shop. Budtenders know their stock better than anyone.

We were helped by budtender Dillon Robertson, and viewers were encouraged to ask questions about anything and everything. Snoop Dogg’s new cannabis line was a popular topic of discussion. Medicine Man grows their own flower in their 40,000-square-foot cultivation facility, so they didn’t have any of the rapper’s bud; however, they do sell Snoop’s edibles.

Robertson pulled edibles, flowers and concentrates for the Periscope audience. Jake gave his tips and pointers as a consumer for the audience, while Robertson offered his expertise as a budtender.

Medicine Man is unique in Denver pot shops because their cultivation facility is attached to the store. Manager of social media and brand communications Trey Fisher also took our audience on a tour of their grow.

We were escorted through their grow rooms, from seed to flowering, and then Fisher guided us through their drying rooms, trim rooms and even allowed a peek into their mother room. The mothers are the plants that all the others are grown from; losing a mother plant potentially could mark the end of a strain.

This is an ongoing series; more Periscopes will happen in the future as we explore other marijuana facilities around the state. Follow @TheCannabist on Periscope to participate in future tours.