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Bud on a Budget: What $20, $50, and $100 Buy at an Iconic Denver Dispensary

Our Bud on a Budget saga continues as we move east out of Seattle and over to Denver, Colorado. Since leading the way for recreational cannabis in 2014, Denver has become home to a myriad of dispensaries, each offering a unique experience with cannabis. From eclectic menus with wide selections to bargain centers giving massive discounts, getting the best budyou’re your buck depends on the experience you are looking to have. In general though, traveling to the heart of the city will yield the most fruitful results, so I decided to take my business to one of Denver’s most iconic boutique adult-use cannabis stores, Botanico. During the visit, I built a cumulative haul of $20, $50, and finally $100 worth of Colorado cannabis.

Taxes in the state of Colorado vary by location. For Botanico in downtown Denver, the taxes on my receipt included a 10% State Cannabis Retail Tax and an additional 3.5% Denver Retail Marijuana tax, as well as a 3.65% Denver Municipal Sales tax. Unlike in some places, where prices advertised already include sales tax, my product price points were calculated before tax, with my subtotal pre-tax coming in at $95 and the post tax purchase totaling $115.74, a little over my $100 goal. If you’re set on truly coming in under $100 total, let your budtender know ahead of time and they’ll help you leave room for taxes that’ll be tacked on at the register.

How Much Cannabis Will $20 Buy in Denver?

Bud on a Budget: How Much Marijuana $100 Buys in Denver | Leafly

Two edibles and a pre-rolled cone ring in right at $20 at a boutique dispensary in Denver. (Patrick Bennett and Amy Phung/Leafly)

I wanted to maximize my value at the $20 price point by including as much product as possible. At Botanico, a great deal for those who want an inexpensive gram is to pick up a shake-filled pre-rolled joint (if you balk at the idea of shake, read our take on the matter before writing it off). I capitalized on this bargain, allowing me to add in two more single-serving (10mg) edibles to complete my $20 purchase.

What I got:

Cumulative total (pre-tax): $20

Why I bought it:

Afghani Pre-Rolled Cone | I opted for a pre-roll because this was a great way to get an inexpensive gram while building a lower-priced haul. It’s tough to beat $5 for a gram in Denver, shake or not. When dealing with pre-rolls, one of the cons is that strain options are limited, so I chose Afghani as their indica-leaning choice.

KEEF Cola: Orange Kush | This single-dose (10mg) carbonated beverage from KEEF brands came in at a great deal for only $7. Contrary to some single-dose edibles, this drink provided a full 12oz serving. This makes it easy to enjoy a standard beverage without having to dose as some beverages mandate, and also provides more sustenance than a bite-sized treat.

Canyon Cultivation Caramel Apple Sucker | I rounded out this order with a 1:1 ratio edible, giving me equal parts THC to CBD. This handcrafted lollipop from Canyon Cultivation was the perfect-sized treat, packaged for easy access on the go. The combination of THC and CBD made for a more relaxing onset while ensuring a functional high.

How Much Cannabis Will $50 Buy in Denver?

Bud on a Budget: How Much Marijuana $100 Buys in Denver | Leafly

At the next price point, we tacked on a bargain package of three brownie bites, a gram of Pre-98 Bubba Kush, and a tasty $9 tincture for a cumulative total of $47. (Patrick Bennett and Amy Phung/Leafly)

Building up to a $50 haul really opened the door for me to dive into some more nuanced products. I still wanted to add a bit more flower into the mix so this was the perfect opportunity to sneak in a gram of something special, Pre-98 Bubba Kush. With flower taken care of for the rest of the haul, I set my sights on some super-discounted goodies including a THC tincture and a baked edible to round my total out.

What I got:

Cumulative total (pre-tax): $47

Why I bought it:

Pre-98 Bubba Kush | Since I frequent Botanico at every chance I get, I was already well aware of the high quality standards that this store has established with their flower. Thanks to browsing their menu, I knew before I walked in that the Pre-98 Bubba Kush would be at the top of my list. This old school indica strain is a treat for anyone with a seasoned palate looking for that nostalgic musky flavor associated with Bubba genetics.

Sweet Grass Kitchen Brownie Bites | There is nothing more valuable to a budget haul than a deal or discount to stretch your dollar just a little bit further. These Sweet Grass Kitchen brownies were only $8 for three 10mg bites. Typically I tend to steer clear of baked goods, but I will always make an exception for a Sweet Grass product: They’ve taken home several awards since their inception, and their quality standards are the best, bar none. Everything made in their kitchen is made in small batches and crafted with full flower cannabutter. This delicacy was one of the first to go after I got home!

Dixie Ginger Mango Dew Drops | Speaking of discounts, my tincture from Dixie may have been the best deal of the bunch. For $9 I was able to grab a 100mg tincture, capping my $50 haul in bargain infamy. The packaging on this product stood out over everything else with a vibrant schematic filled with yellows and oranges. Dixie has a reputation for making some seriously awesome products, though I hadn’t previously tried anything outside of their signature line of Elixirs beverages, after a taste of the tincture I was sold. My experience with these Dew Drops fundamentally changed the way I viewed tinctures.

How Much Cannabis Will $100 Buy?

Bud on a Budget: How Much Marijuana $100 Buys in Denver | Leafly

Two more edibles, a gram of shatter, and a $2 child safety exit bag (not pictured) to carry it all brought us to a cumulative pre-tax total of $95 at Botanico in Denver. (Patrick Bennett and Amy Phung/Leafly)

Overall, variety is what I was looking for on a $100 shopping spree. My goal was to build the most eclectic haul possible, and I was able to accomplish that, carrying away a total of 10 unique items for $95 pre-tax ($115.74 post-tax).

What I got:

Cumulative total (pre-tax): $95

Why I bought it:

Coda Signature Hot Chocolate | Infused or not, you have to admit that instant hot chocolate on a spoon is the very first thing you want in the middle of a cold Colorado evening—which is why I was absolutely over the moon to discover that Coda had come out with a 10mg THC single serving of this 100% pure milk hot chocolate on a spoon. Famous for their signature gourmet truffles, Coda has outdone themselves with this product, creating a smooth and delicious warm treat for the season.

Bear Dance Shatter | Cannabis concentrates tend to sell at higher price points, which is why I decided to wait for the $100 haul to sneak something in. Fortunately for me, I was met with Botanico’s holiday special on shatter and couldn’t resist a $16 full gram of Bear Dance. This crazy strain crosses Snowcap, Uzbekistan Hash Plant, and Pure Kush to create a creamy, lemon-heavy 50/50 hybrid that offers a cerebral and uplifting experience.

Blue Kudu Sky Island Chocolate | Two elements stood out about this product to me. First, as stated earlier, I am a big fan of 1:1 CBD:THC edibles as they tend to create a much more relaxing and robust full-body experience, and second, Blue Kudu is arguably my favorite brand in Colorado infused chocolates, by virtue of their insanely creative flavor pairings. The Sky Island version featured salted pistachios and white chocolate, wrapped in a beautifully illustrated package. As the most expensive product in my haul, this one also contained the most cannabinoids—200mg total between the CBD and THC.

Child Safety Exit Bag | I forgot to bring in my own Botanico child safety exit bag during this trip, so I was required to purchase one for $2 before I could leave with my haul. A small price to pay for having spent $100, though this could set you back a bit if you are working with only $20 or $50. The bright side? These bags are reusable at Botanico and actually make for a pretty solid transport bag for product. Would I have rather thrown that $2 towards an extra pre-roll? Sure, but you have to play by the rules, and this one’s a smart measure that isn’t going away any time soon.

Bud on a Budget: How Much Marijuana $100 Buys in Denver | Leafly

Botanico’s $2 child safety exit bags are a required purchase if you forget to bring your own, but can be reused the next time you come back. (Patrick Bennett/Leafly)

Final notes: Botanico does a great job of offering a wide variety of products at differing price points, which allowed to me get creative when making my decisions. Combined with a few discounts and deals, I was able to grab up as much as possible without having to spend (much) more than I intended. A few tips for modifying your order if you’re looking to hit that $100 on the dot:

  • Always check for deals first.
  • Ask your budtender to give you an itemized post-tax total when building your haul.
  • Purchase in small quantities.
  • Bring in your own child safety exit bag.
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Patrick Bennett

Patrick lives with his wife and daughter in Denver, where he spends his time writing, photographing, and creating content for the cannabis community.

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