2801 Iris Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301
Why you should visit: the rustic classiness of a farm-to-table restaurant; a waiting area that really makes you wish you could hang out after your purchase; carefully-cultivated, high-grade cannabis and concentrates; a commitment to high standards for their community and their industry
What do you envision when you think about the farm? Perhaps barns full of baying livestock, pigs rolling in mud, and the smell of horse manure? Or picturesque rolling pastures and rambling red wood framed houses, beneath vibrant blue skies? Thanks to a few years in Vermont, I personally can’t think of the farm without imagining its natural friend and partner, the table, so I conjure up images of bucolic kitchens filled with enough lush produce to feed a crowd.
But, after a recent visit to Boulder, when I imagine The Farm, I’ll always remember the iconic Colorado shop that proves just how classy cannabis can be.
Despite what some GPS systems might want you to believe, The Farm is not off of Pearl Street in downtown Boulder (it used to be). If you are in downtown Boulder and have done some shopping, eaten some lunch, and meandered through a massive baby boomers’ drum circle, you’ll probably want to locate a vehicle to take you to up to Iris Avenue so you can get to The Farm. My vehicle is a car, and I have to drive it so far down a semi-dirt road that I wonder if I’d gotten us lost. Just as my deep-seated fear of disappointing my fellow passengers started to flutter anxiously in my chest, a green clock tower appeared, a beacon to the west, indicating that we were still correctly approaching our destination. Soon we were close enough to see the whimsical letters: The Farm.
Adjacent to the parking lot, a large, one-story, freestanding building crouches, the only one in the immediate area, a light, earthy green with painted murals of idyllic, relaxing farm scenes. The Farm seems to understand that the retail experience begins before you walk through the front doors, and their attention to exterior design goes a long way to establishing their brand in the mind of the customer. The Farm looks like a place you want to buy cannabis, and the number of cars in the lot indicates that you’re not the only one.
It’s confirmed upon entering that The Farm is a popular spot; there are several people ahead of us in the check-in line located at center of the room, and the cavernous waiting area is filled with folks milling about the merchandise and lounging on couches as they wait their turns. The check-in procedure is a bit brusque, and it’s clear that the woman in charge is all business. She’s professional but friendly, with a distinct ‘get the clients moving’ attitude. She scrutinizes our IDs and divides my group into pairs, getting a name from each duo to identify us when it’s time to go back to the bud room.
We had plenty of time to explore the large retail and sitting room that comprises the waiting area, and there was definitely plenty to take in. This thoughtfully adorned space defines The Farm’s aesthetic and creates its classy ambience, with polished hardwood floors and Oriental rugs, eye soothing track lighting, and verdant potted plants. Some dispensary waiting rooms go for a purposefully sterile, stark, and modern atmosphere, but the warm, homey feeling of The Farm makes you think you’re about to sit down to a delicious meal at a good friend’s house, and we like that.
After perusing the perimeter and its glass counters full of items for sale, from smoking and vaping accessories to branded merchandise emblazoned with The Farm’s signature bovine, we find the corner with comfortable couches arranged in a living room sort of way with a coffee table and magazines, a water cooler, and an artistically designed chalkboard displaying today’s menu. It was a place you could sit comfortably for awhile, but I was glad we didn’t have to.
When we are called to the budroom, I drop the relaxed posture of a waiting room browser and assume my best ‘okay, let’s get down to business because you want to get going onto the next customer’ stance, due to the vibe I got from the woman who checked us in. But that is definitely not the budtender’s approach. When I launch right into the logistics of the transaction, I can tell he is a bit taken aback by my terse type-A-ness. He wants to chat, and he also wants to check our IDs again (The Farm is hyper-vigilant about compliance, setting a great example for the industry). After we both laugh off the awkward beginning, we fall into an easy conversation that lasts at least 15 minutes, in which he gives us the lowdown on most of the consumables at The Farm (no small task, given the variety of their stock). This budtender is incredibly knowledgeable; he offers both factual information and his own empirical evidence about most of the edibles, drinks, topicals, and tinctures on the shelves. It’s apparent that he loves cannabis and he loves The Farm; there’s noticeable pride in his voice when he speaks about the plants they cultivate. He’s happy to describe – and bring out for a peek – every strain in the place, and they all seem fairly incredible. If the effect is consistent with what we see and smell in these jars, The Farm does indeed produce some amazing craft cannabis.
We end up with a pretty nice haul: their house strain, Alpha Blue (he had me at NYC Diesel and that’s before I heard it was crossed with Blue Dream – this is seriously an all-time favorite); another Farm signature strain called Gumbi that comes in at over 10% CBD; some ridiculous, yummy, crumbly Hummingbird bubble hash; a bottle of Cannapunch (a pre-plane-ride-home necessity); and a container of Love’s Oven Cookies that are almost gone before we get back to Denver. So you could say it was a good day.
The trip did do a number on my wallet, as the shop is on the pricier side, but I’m glad to pay for the quality, the service, the attention to detail and overall experience I find at The Farm. The Farm is committed to their customers, to cannabis, and to compliance, and this combination makes for a special shopping experience. They’ve nailed the rustic, classy air of a farm-to-table restaurant, and their connoisseur grade cannabis is nothing short of gourmet.