The peculiar tropical/desert motif that adorns the signage and exterior of Medicinal Wellness has always stood out and slightly confused me as I drove past the shop on Evans over the past few years. The latest addition of Christmas light-covered metallic palm trees completed the eccentric package and had me even more curious to go inside. Was it a themed dispensary? Did the budtenders have to wear grass skirts or Hawaiian shirts? My questions were finally answered as I pulled into the parking lot on a brisk, bluebird morning.
Unlike some shops, Medicinal Oasis is lucky enough to have a little off-street parking for its customers, which provides a welcome refuge from the whizzing traffic that fills Evans during practically every hour of operation. The shop houses both a recreational and medical side, which have separate entrances from the reception area (they serve medical patients 18 and older). The entry was clean and put together well enough, serving its simple purpose of giving customers a place to sit while waiting through the possibly long lines. I had arrived at the shop shortly after they opened and there wasn’t any line to speak of; I indicated I was there for recreational sales, they took my ID, and it was less than a minute before I was called back into the budroom.
Once I stepped through the door into the budroom, I was very impressed with the open, spacious design of the recreational sales area. The L-shaped counter stretched across the room and held about 20 different strains as well as a smattering of edibles and concentrates (CO2 vape pens and water hash mostly). There were a couple of customers shopping ahead of me, smelling jars and crouching down to look more closely at the edibles.
The service style at Medicinal Oasis is casual, and I felt welcome and relaxed the entire time. I walked the bar from end to end, surveying the choices for probably five minutes before I even went up to talk to a budtender. Matthew ended up being the guy who was ready for me, and he gave me the rundown once I told him I had not been in previously. Medicinal Oasis organizes their shelf into “Connoisseur” and “Regular” tiers for each strain; essentially, the Connoisseur is only the top parts of the plant that are hand trimmed, while the Regular is the rest of the plant that has been machine trimmed. It was nice that they said specifically why the two tiers were different, and I appreciated their honesty about the machine trim, as it is somewhat of a controversial topic and many shops hide their use of the machines.
One other great touch: The bud bar was organized left-to-right from sativa to indica, and each of the jars had a colorful placard detailing the strain’s lineage and general effects. These little touches really help make the shopping experience more pleasant, because it eliminates a lot of the normal questions and allows the customer to simply browse and ask when they really want to see something closer. I had taken more time to browse and Matthew was now weighing out buds for another guy, so I ended up catching the attention of Dani, a bright-eyed blond woman who was also in the midst of helping another customer. She multi-tasked well, as I asked her to pull out eight or nine jars in a short period and she didn’t miss a beat, continuing her description of the strains for the other customer while she helped me.
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The staff talked with a knowledgeable edge, dispensing personal recommendations (Dani liked the Super Lemon Haze a lot) and generally had something intelligent to say about everything, which is surprisingly rare in this industry. Dani ran me through a variety of sativa and hybrid possibilities: the Flo was colorful and smelled exactly as it should; the Whiteberry looked great and smelled quite a bit like the Flo; the New York City Diesel was weak, but the Sour Diesel was incredibly stinky. None of the buds blew me away with their appearance, but nothing looked terrible either. However, the aromas were for the most part strong and strain-appropriate, so I was still excited to try something.