(As posted on nmcannabisreview in April 2014.)
As a member of the medical cannabis program for almost a year, I can report the following:
Budding Hope (Roy) — I have not been to this dispensary, and have only seen one good mention of them on the internet from a patient (who runs an MMJ consulting business).
Cannaceutics (Albuquerque) — It was reported that this dispensary uses (or used) DMSO in a topical cannabis product, which is prohibited by the Department of Health.
CG Corrigan (Albuquerque/Placitas) — My experiences with CG Corrigan over a 6-month period last year were not positive, except for single batches of Grand Platinum, OG-18, and G-13. The purchase of a recent batch of Grand Platinum showed it to be very different from the one that disappeared sometime last year, both in smell (more kush) and strength. However, it was strong enough for patients with moderate pain. A March newsletter from Corrigan indicated that they recently opened a store-front in Placitas (same address as Natural RX).
Compassionate Distributors (Ruidoso) — For news on this dispensary, see article from February 2013 in Ruidoso Free Press.
Fruit of the Earth (Santa Fe) — Another dispensary using DMSO in a topical product, which is prohibited by the Department of Health.
G&G Genetics (Grants) — Sent an email requesting to be registered on March 20th, and never received a reply. Some (or all?) strains sold through New MexiCann.
GrassRoots RX (Pine Hill) — I’ve only tried one strain from GrassRoots, their Bubba Berry, which I did not find strong enough for chronic pain. However, the total cost turned out to be the lowest I’ve calculated so far, and this strain is good enough to help those with mild pain or low tolerance levels.
Healthy Education Society (Albuquerque) — This dispensary closed down in April of 2013, then re-opened on May 22nd of that same year. My internet search revealed one good (2012) and one bad (2014) review. Zia Health and Wellness, which provides card services for patients, appears to be located at the same place.
High Desert Relief (Albuquerque) — Best strain is BlackBerry Kush, although there have been good batches of Pre98 Bubba Kush and OG Kush (strong enough for chronic pain), and Island Sweet Skunk (for moderate to chronic pain). Additionally, some of their kushes are strong enough for moderate pain and they have a New York City Diesel that would be good for patients with mild to moderate pain. They have a simple set-up — more for patients who basically know what they want. Unfortunately, the first four strains mentioned above are hard to find. Also, this producer is prone to closing for long periods of time (days, weeks), which makes purchasing medicine from them inconsistent.
Medzen (Rio Rancho) — During the six months I tried products from Corrigan, I also tried 22 different strains from Medzen. I can recall three different purchases that were above average, specific batches of the OG Kush, Shishka Berry, and Green Crackle. Unfortunately, there was no consistency within the strains, so I could not predict from purchase to purchase what strength I was going to get. I also tried numerous edibles and one tincture from Medzen, and did not achieve an effect from any of them. The waxes I tried were also unremarkable. Medzen does not test their bud, so THC percentages are not available. They have a nice set-up, with one-on-one visits when purchasing medicine, but I did not find the staff knowledgeable enough for new patients. Top shelf strain is at $15/gram.
Minerva Canna Group (Albuquerque) — I’ve only tried one strain from Minerva, their Blue Widow (listed as the strain with the highest THC percentage). I found it to be of low quality and strength. I can understand why patients like this dispensary, with it’s nice set-up; but, according to online reviews on other websites, I am not the only one who thinks this medicine is below average in strength. Considering the $14/gram cost, this medicine is overpriced, even for this market.
Mother Earth Herbs (Las Cruces) — I’ve never been to this dispensary, and you have to be a registered member to view their products. I’ve seen both bad and good internet reviews for their medicine and set-up. I’ve also seen this dispensary described as a monopoly because of their location near the border.
MJ Express-O (Truth or Consequences) — Must register by mail. Also, this producer is attempting to open a store-front dispensary, according to a June 2013 article in the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Natural RX (Placitas and Albuquerque) — See article in Sandoval Signpost from May 2013 for news on this dispensary. Also, an ad in Alibi on 3/27/14 indicates a new location near Balloon Fiesta Field, 8612 Paseo Alameda NW.
New MexiCann (Santa Fe) — I’ve only tried one strain from New MexiCann, their Blue Dream, which was not strong enough for chronic pain. But the Blue Dream had a nice cure and good terpenes, and may be good for patients with mild to moderate pain. This dispensary has a great set-up and is highly recommended for new patients. But (just as with all dispensaries), if patients want to use THC percentage as a tool in picking strains, they will need to look deeper than what is reported. And if you examine all the testing information provided by New MexiCann, you can see that they play fast and loose when reporting THC/CBD percentages. Additionally, when I calculated the actual cost of my purchase (per joint, not per gram), New MexiCann turned out to be the most expensive so far.
New Mexico Alternative Care (Farmington) — Website “under construction,” and appears to be mostly an edible production facility in Farmington. Although I have seen some negative reviews on their bud from 2012 and 2013.
New Mexico Top Organics (Santa Fe) — This dispensary has a no-frills set-up, and is a small producer. One day, maybe I’ll have the opportunity to try their Blackberry Kush.
R. Greenleaf (Albuquerque) — I’ve tried 7 different strains from Greenleaf, and I think their best strains are Grape Ape and Larry OG. Unfortunately, neither are easy to find on Greenleaf’s menu. Their Lemon Sour Diesel had a nice cure and good terpenes, and would be good for mild to moderate pain. Nice set-up and location, and cost in the moderate range.
Red Barn Growers (Gallup) — I’ve only tried one strain from Red Barn Growers, their Blue Dream (sold through Minerva). I found it to be below average in strength and quality.
Sacred Garden (Santa Fe) — I’ve tried four different strains from Sacred Garden: Island Sweet Skunk, Shoreline, Chedderwurst, and Hash Plant. None were strong enough for chronic pain, but the ISS and Shoreline had a nice smell and would work for moderate pain. Their website says,
“We are also the only Licensed Medical Cannabis Producer in the state that has a sanctioned kitchen through the State of New Mexico.”
Sandia Bonaticals (Albuquerque) — Difficulties with signing up, combined with the reporting of low THC strains on their website, have caused me to only visit this dispensary once. Unable to purchase medicine without a consultation first, and facing a 30-minute wait, I left after I registered.
SWOP (Albuquerque) — I visited this dispensary in November of last year, with a hand-written list of my strain preferences from their website, only to find they were completely out of bud. Since then, I have not seen a reported THC strength of over 20% on any of their strains. Top shelf strain is priced at $18/gram.
The Verdes Foundation (Albuquerque) — Best strains are Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Grandaddy Purple, all of which are strong enough for chronic pain. The one edible I can recommend (from Herbal Edibles, sold through Verdes) is the Pumpkin Harvest Bar. There have been occasions when I’ve purchased a disappointing strain, but all-in-all, Verdes is my favorite dispensary. They have a pretty good set-up too (especially for first-timers), and recently, costs have worked out to be on the lower end of the market.