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Competing cannabinoids

Though it was the first of its kind in Colorado, Rob Tillery doesn't think much of the Western Slope Cannabis Crown, a medical marijuana strain competition held last April.

"The big problem with Aspen [in 2010] was, it was just way unorganized and way confusing in the way they were doing the judging," he says. "Our judging's already going to be done, like the Emmys or the Oscars. By the time the event happens, we'll just have cards announcing [the winners]."

Tillery, a consultant with local center Quality Cultivators, is talking about a Colorado Springs-based strain competition he's putting together in conjunction with Garden of the Gods Wellness Center and Top Buds. The Best Meds ( competition will feature strains from roughly 20 local centers being tested by patients for flavor, and length and strength of effect, beginning in March.

"The way we're doing it is, the dispensaries that are participating in the contest are going to enter a bunch of half-gram nugs that are gonna be divided up and anonymously numbered into packs," Tillery says. "And then those same dispensaries that are participating will have a selection of those for purchase, and that will basically give random patients throughout the city a chance to score [the meds]."

Tillery is hoping to get all scorecards collected by the end of March, in time to have the event on April 15 and 16. And while a location is yet to be determined, the grower is planning for it to be a closed-door, red-card-required contest, so that the winning marijuana can be sold on-site.

Keep Manitou medicated

Besides being the only place to find medical marijuana in Manitou Springs — that we're aware of — week-old Physician Preferred Products (1118 Manitou Ave., is notable for another reason: Owner Marcos Ronquillo will pay for a person's initial medical review, which can run anywhere from $90 to $200.

And though the cost is high, the center owner says it's worth it.

"My background is physical therapy," says Ronquillo, 40. "I saw how it was with the patients that were wanting marijuana and how it was affecting them, how [much] better they were — night and day, within a month and a half."

To that end, new patients receive a free joint on their first visit. Plus, Ronquillo — who also owns a center in Northglenn — offers edibles like coffees, teas and drinks from Dixie Elixirs and Keef Cola, in addition to tinctures and more than 20 strains of "top-grade" marijuana; look for his OG and Bubba Kush.

— Bryce Crawford


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