Terrapin Care Station's Folsom Street location in Boulder is bustling with customers, which isn't a surprise considering its proximity to the University of Colorado campus. (The Cannabist)

Terrapin Care Station – Folsom Street (rec review)

The strain selection overall was definitely disappointing, especially considering that there are recreational shops that are currently carrying upwards of 30 strains in regular rotation. If the selections were of higher quality, I could probably excuse the lack of choice, but in this case, it really was a downer. Though the Boulder market is more expensive than Denver in general, I definitely bristled at the thought of paying between $12 and $23 (including tax) for half an eighth of this questionable quality. The shop’s prices in general aren’t outlandish by any means, but compared to the pungent-smelling, frosty buds I ran into at several other stops with similar price structures, these little pebbles of vegetation seemed very expensive.

I also don’t like that the shop forces a minimum half-eighth purchase rather than allowing gram sales… restricting customer choice just never really sits well with me. Because all of Terrapin’s flowers were prepackaged into pharmaceutical-style pill bottles, the logistics of packing up and storing thousands of single grams in these fairly large, wasteful (and fairly expensive) containers is assuredly the reason for the policy. But it is still frustrating to have to spend more than I would like to try a product that, to me, seemed average at best. Also worth noting is that the prepackaged flower quantity maxes out at a quarter ounce, meaning you’ll be paying the same price level all the way up to the Colorado resident ounce limit if you choose to go that route.

 Terrapin Care Station - Folsom St. recreational review
Hash Haze from Terrapin Care Station (The Cannabist)

Not exactly enamored with any of my choices, I ended up opting for the Hash Haze (aka “Hashplant Haze” aka “Annunaki”, which is a DNA Genetics hybrid consisting of California Hashplant x Cannalope Haze), a cut which I was familiar with after regularly selling it at a dispensary I had managed several years ago. It smelled the most pungent and strain-specific by far,reminding me of certain Hazes that I’ve smoked in Amsterdam, but the tiny budlets that made up my half-eighth jar were almost all the size of my fingernail and looked to be airy lower buds with a single exception (which was an approximately half-gram nug). My total including tax ended up being $21 for the half-eighth, which while not terrible for the quantity, had me already feeling a little regretful as I said goodbye to Christian and walked out to the parking lot. Fortunately, the compliant, child-resistant, resealable flower containers allowed me to avoid the obligatory $2 “exit bag” charge which would have been required if I had purchased a joint or edibles.

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When I got to my office and cracked open the jar, the same creamy orange-flower Haze aroma from the store was definitely present. The aroma was the only reason I grabbed the Hash Haze and didn’t just opt for a pre-rolled joint; I thought it smelled miles better than anything else on the shelf. Examining the buds closely, they seemed on the beat-up side, as the trichomes were not readily apparent. and the trim job was shaggy for my taste as well. I have definitely seen this strain grown better than this particular example, but the smell still had me hopeful for a decent joint. I rolled up about 0.7 grams into an orange Zig-Zag (unfortunately, I discovered that I had left my usual organic RAW papers at home and had to make an emergency gas station stop), took my usual unlit “dry hit” and sparked it up.

Compared to the aroma, the flavor was definitely disappointing; even the dry hit just barely had the strain’s creamy orange Haze flavor, and the actual smoke tasted only a little bit sweet on the first few hits. The joint wasn’t harsh on the throat and burned well enough, but it began tasting very bitter and metallic about a quarter of the way through, which normally indicates the presence of residual nutrients, but can also be due to problems with the drying and curing process. My guess here is a combination of the two, as the buds were on the dry, crumbly side and seemed like they might have been dried too fast, while the ash was a little on the chunky side despite having a mostly uniform speckled white and dark gray color. The second half of the joint was tough for me to smoke; the flavor was non-existent and the metallic quality seemed to increase with every hit. I ended up putting it out with about a quarter of it left and opted to just move on with my day.

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I started some writing work and barely noticed the strain’s effects for the first 15 minutes or so. But somewhat abruptly, it jumped on top of me, filling my limbs, torso, head, and face with a very warming (almost uncomfortably so), buzzy effect that I knew came directly from the Hashplant side of the lineage. Almost simultaneously, the Haze side of things came to the party as well, giving me a somewhat jittery internal energy and a mind-racing quality that had my heart fluttering a bit. This strain definitely felt like a hybrid in that it had strong elements of both traditional sativa and indica effects. In this case, they almost seemed to be battling one another, which made for a slightly off-putting effect for me personally. There was no doubting the strain’s potency though, as the strong body effects stayed constant through nearly 90 minutes, tapering off from there over the total duration, which crept past the two and a half hour range. Though the appearance and flavor wasn’t great, I was actually somewhat impressed with the potency.

The lowdown

My experience at Terrapin’s storefront was a positive one, but I was definitely disappointed with their flower quality/price combination, which is far and away the most important part of any dispensary shopping experience for me. I appreciated how quickly the staff moved through the lines, their overall aptitude, and how the store was organized, but that was overshadowed by the limited strain selection and iffy quality, Maybe I caught them on a bad inventory day after a busy weekend, but for a shop that has had over two months of recreational operation, I felt like they should have had their selection and flowers more on-point. There is certainly potential here with the staff, shop and location, but until they figure out how to put better product on the shelf, I can’t really recommend a stop at Terrapin. Granted, this was my first Boulder recreational shopping experience, so this may be Boulder’s best option… but somehow I doubt that based on the higher quality flowers that I’ve seen coming out of other Boulder medical shops in the past.

The must-try: Can’t say that I would call any of these choices a “must-try”… the only strain that stood out to me ended up being just OK. Basically though, I would stick with the mid-shelf choices if you end up at Terrapin, as they looked and smelled as good to my eye as the top shelf, but were clearly better than the rough-looking budget strain I saw. The middle shelf is priced at $21 per half-eighth, $42 per eighth — that structure goes all the way up to the ounce, which would come to $336 — all prices include tax.

The lasting impression: The efficient and friendly storefront was nicer than many shops, as was the staff, but the underwhelming flowers and limited overall selection severely dampened the experience.