The no-frills exterior of Kindman belies what awaits inside -- an attractive bud room. (The Cannabist)

Kindman (recreational review by The Ombudsman)

I had a hard time finding Kindman without using GPS, despite being a Denver resident for nearly 10 years now. The meandering route I ended up taking carried me through one of Denver’s many industrial districts, this time just south of I-70 and west of I-25, where roads seem to end without notice, dead-ending to warehouse parking lots or masses of construction equipment. This seems to be a common theme with dispensaries in Denver; because of zoning restrictions regarding schools and day cares, the majority of businesses ended up in these types of areas out of necessity.

Review: Kindman in Denver, Colo. (recreational purchase).

Connect: 4125 Elati St. 303-546-3626. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Date of Visit: Feb. 3rd, 2014

Rating: 7.2/10

Kindman is housed in a nondescript beige warehouse-type building of substantial size, indicating that perhaps they have an on-site cultivation facility along with the storefront. As I pulled into the store’s only vacant parking space, I noticed a line of cars parked along the street (where no other retail businesses seemed to exist) and consequently was expecting a long wait when I made it inside. Upon entering the small reception area, I immediately ran into six or seven other customers who were waiting to enter the bud room. Jacob, the staff member posted just inside the door, greeted me and simply asked for my ID to confirm my age, then quickly asked me and another gentleman to move from the entryway.

With all of the chairs filled by other customers, I just opted to stand against the wall and listen to the conversations happening around me. The talk mostly revolved around the regulations for the new recreational industry, with Jacob patiently and thoroughly answering questions from all sides while mixing in casual chit-chat about music, shoes and more. He seemed very knowledgeable about the industry as a whole and fielded a wide variety of questions without blinking an eye.

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The waiting area itself was definitely a bit on the ramshackle side and possibly under some type of construction. Black plastic covered the windows to the bud room while several orange Home Depot buckets, a mop and other random items leaned against the walls. It was bare bones and not the nicest place to wait, but at least it was a warm shelter from the blustery day outside. The on-site ATM saw several visitors while I waited. (Kindman is a cash-only business.) As one customer would shuffle out of the store, Jacob would tell the next person to enter … it was a very informal queue system to be sure, but it seemed to work well enough with this relatively (for a recreational store) small crowd.

He called me into the bud room after about 10-15 minutes, and I was pleased to see that the inner decor didn’t match the reception area. Several gorgeous-looking vertical screens displayed the store’s strain menu (but no prices), and the four budtender stations surrounded two well-lit and nicely organized display cases which held the store’s inventory. I was unsure exactly which station to go to, but a jovial female budtender gestured to me and welcomed me warmly, again looking at my ID. When I indicated that I hadn’t been in before, she ran me through their prices and shelf system (namely, two strains on the “connoisseur” shelf and approximately fifteen on the regular shelf) and also noted that their Spirit of ’76 was featured in a recent Top-10 strains column.

Overall, the selection of strains on offer was better than most recreational stores that I have been into, many of which have 10 or fewer strains to choose from. I asked to smell quite a few jars, and despite the line of customers still waiting outside the door, she patiently and happily handled my requests, never making me feel rushed or like I was an inconvenience. I tend to prefer sativa-dominant strains, and the shelf was organized left-to-right starting with the most sativa (Sour Diesel) and ending with the heaviest indica (a strain called “FU Cali,” which I found humorous). This basic touch really makes it easy for customers to get a general idea of what to expect, and I appreciated not having to repeatedly ask what type of effect a given strain would have. She offered up the Spirit of ’76 as her personal favorite and also spoke highly of the Sour Diesel, which looked and smelled exactly as it should.

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There were a couple of jars that didn’t have a ton of smell nor the best appearance, but I was pleasantly surprised by the majority of them. The highlights included the pungent and acrid Sour D, the dark and fruity Spirit of ’76 and my eventual choice: the trichome-coated, musky and very dense Chem Valley Kush. The CVK is a slightly sativa-leaning hybrid from the Cali Connection seed company that combines the vaunted ChemDawg D mother and a male SFV OG F3 — I love Chem and OG-based strains, so it seemed like a natural choice for me. It’s also important to note that having seen this strain at other stores in the past, this example was one of the better ones that I have run into … the smell and appearance were both top-notch, and I was definitely excited to try it. Aside from the flowers, there were a couple recreational edibles available as well as several choices of strain-specific concentrates, but this time I decided to stick with the flowers.

Read more of The Ombudsman’s review of Kindman.