It may look like a bar, a store, a boutique, a studio or a doctor’s office. Walk inside. It is a medical marijuana dispensary.
No two dispensaries in Boulder appear exactly alike. For the inexperienced, it may not even appear like a dispensary.
Walk into Boulder Kind Care on 2031 16th Street and enter a doctor-office like setting. There is a picture of peacocks, a blue, brown and beige striped chair, a water cooler, a television showing skiing and on one day the Counting Crows playing.
Upon entering, one might be greeted by one of the owners, Diane Czarkowski, who is also a real estate agent.
Czarkowski owns the place with three other real estate agents and is married with three kids, ages 5, 16 and 22. Her daughter attends New Vista High School, and her son is in the military. She appears like a typical Boulder woman or a typical mother.
“I wanted to create a place that would be a model for future dispensaries to follow,” she said. “A place for legitimate patients with legitimate needs, a comfortable environment to feel taken care of.”
She said that Boulder Kind Care is always careful to follow the rules, and that she even reaches out to police officers and Boulder City Council members to enter the dispensary.
She also said that she is involved in the Coloradoans for Marijuana Regulation political advocacy group.
Czarkowski said her family fully supports her.
“My son is in the army and is asking for it to be legal so it can be safe,” she said. “My daughter is a senior and many of her friends are patients. I’d rather them come here, so we can talk to them and take care of them. However, most of our patients are older, ages 30 to 85.”
Like many other business owners, Czarkowski said she book-keeps, purchases product, updates her website and social media pages, reads up on the industry and runs errands.
Walk just a couple doors down from Boulder Kind Care to 2043 16th Street and enter the Village Greens Society.
The room is well lit. There is an array of books on the table, plants, a couch, windows and a Buddha in the room. There is also a studio for acupuncture and jars of marijuana.
Upon entering this dispensary, one might be greeted by the co-owner, Adam Odoski, a former Georgia resident and former furniture salesman in Carbondale.
“We started talking about [opening a dispensary] when the industry started to take shape,” Odoski said. “We wanted to provide more than just medical marijuana. [We wanted to provide] an opportunity for people to feel good about themselves and their bodies. We just jumped in both feet first.”
Odoski said he provides acupuncture, massages and chiropractors.
“Healing with medical marijuana can do good for bodies and minds,” he said.
He is also a political advocate.
“Most of my time is spent working on regulations with state capitals and with Boulder City Council,” Odoski said.
Odoski is a member of Grow in Colorado, with about 10 other dispensaries.
So far, his patient age has varied from around 20 to 50 years old.
“What [the other owner, Dan] and I set out to do is set the standard of excellence and provide the medicine people need,” Odoski said.
Walk just a few steps off campus and into Dr. Reefer on the Hill, located at 1121 Broadway St.
The space is large, much larger than most dispensaries. There is a large television with Direct TV, black chairs and university-aged “budtendresses” working besides the owner, Pierre Werner.
In the past, Werner spent time in prison in New Jersey after being convicted of distributing marijuana and sold marijuana legally in Nevada before opening up Dr. Reefer in November.
Werner sells his product to patients, and said he is a patient himself.
“The atmosphere is the Bellagio of medical marijuana dispensaries,”Werner said. “I’m trying to have the highest quality of marijuana, the best employees, the fastest and safest service for my patients and give them the highest quality of meds possible in a safe environment.”
Werner also said that many of his patients are university students and professors, but the bright neon lights outside the shop bring in about 60 percent of the patients who are driving past Broadway.
Sarah Reidy, a 21-year-old junior English and political science major, and the Development Director of NORML Board, said she has been working at a dispensary.
Reidy works at The Farm, located at 1644 Walnut Street and said the dispensary is one that appeals to females.
“It has a boutique feel,” Reidy said. “It is more than buying medicine. There are t-shirts, clothes. It is a spa atmosphere. The owner used to own a spa and based it off that.”
Dave Hines, a 20-year-old economics major who is also on NORML board, said that he has been to a variety of dispensaries.
“I usually go to The Farm,” Hines said. “It is near my house. It is also a very warm and welcoming place. I have also been to Therapeutic Compassionate Care and Greenest Green. TCC is very business-like and professional, appointment oriented. Greenest Green is more like a bar, more modernized, big on technology.”
Hilliary Grace, a 19-year-old sophomore sociology major, has recently started working as an employee at Dr. Reefer.
“I see a diverse group of people coming in here,” Grace said. “You have no idea who smokes weed.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Sara Fruman at Sara.email@example.com.