Thursday, September 10, 2015

420 Carpenter in Lacey, WA - Recreational

Retailer: 420 Carpenter
Location: Lacey, WA
Leafly listing
AllBud listing

Visited: 08/31/2015 5:30 PM

Lowest-cost: $10 options - 1 flower 1 preroll

Budtenders: Tina Marie - knowledgeable, dedicated, attentive, fun
Kiana - peppy, upbeat, enthused, smiles

Overall: Return and Recommend!
Highlights: Big, interesting space.  High-energy staff.  Huge selection of glass.  Great service.

420 Carpenter is in the back of a pleasant, suburban business center.  There's plenty of parking all over the place, and nicely maintained sidewalks and walking areas.  ADA accessibility is ideal.  The door is open and as you approach there's a faint scent and quiet music.  Approaching the door, with the brightness inside and the dim light outside, it's a bit tough to know what you're going into, but it seems pretty awesome.

Entering, I was greeted by the friendliest intimidating guy I've met in a long while - Donnie (Donny?).  He was sitting behind a glass display filled with glass pipes.  He exuded cool, was smiling and kind.  I actually made him stop smiling, roll his sleeves up, and told him to 'look intimidating' for the picture below.  Otherwise, he was nothing but smiles.  When I came in all the budtenders were busy with other customers so he came around and gave me a brief breakdown of the various products and where I could find them.  The store seems organized pretty well with lots of simple glass display shelves.

This entryway is a great use of space, I think.  The kiosk has a great selection of pipes, spoons, small bongs, rolling trays, stash cans and more items essential to the recreational enjoyment of marijuana.

Once you pass this kiosk - or more likely before, and you see the above displays on your way out - you get a good view of this huge universe-painted space.  I absolutely love the paint job in this place. It's really impressive to stand at the entry way, see the huge amount of shopping floorspace which is a funky green coloring.  Then I took in all the long, full displays of product.  This is a great experience, one made better because I was the only customer in the store for just a brief moment.

Every product is labelled with a hand-made sign, highlighting pricing, type and cannabinoid content - for each strain.  Everything was clearly priced and labelled, and that is outstanding.

The shelf to the left had the sativa - if course that's where I started out at. They had a fair amount of sativas. All the prices were equivalent to competitor pricing.  They had a variety of options here ranging from $15 to $23 per gram.  Some great strains here and decent variety of brands to choose from.

The bottom of this Sativa shelf is where they keep the dab rigs and vapes.  Really, I'm impressed at the amount of glass and smoking paraphernalia 420 Carpenter has available.  This is quite the variety of relatively inexpensive glass dab rigs.  They also carry my favorite type of nail the Quartz Castle - $40 is the going rate everywhere for these and it's worth it for a dab rig.

They also have a decent selection of vaping mechanisms at what's a fairly standard pricing structure. Having been into e-cig vaping for several years, most of these vape items are just OK for what they're trying to accomplish.  I'd much prefer to see more expensive MagicFlight or Flowermate boxvapes in stores than pen-style dry herb chamber-cartridges devices - if only so people get a legitimate dry-flower vaping experience. Let me be clear - this isn't just at 420 Carpenter, by any means - this is endemic to retail marijuana stores overall.

The V-toke or Atmos style chamber vapes and little cheap disposable cig-a-like or pen-types for concentrates do make vaping more accessible to more people with the pricing mechanism, and when you're selling 510-connection cartridges pre-filled with oil for $40-60 per half gram, you need to have something affordable to power them.  I get all that.  However, I also have experience with those vaping devices, and usually you get what you pay for.  A slightly higher investment in hardware gives you an exponentially better experience with it.

A chamber-style dry herb vape, in my experience and personal opinion, is finicky, relies on lots of fiddlin' with to get just right, and works sporadically under the best of conditions.  People who buy these often say "Oh I tried it and it didn't really work well" - now they're turned off vaping and feel they've wasted money.  The worst part is, they've never had a legitimate, ideal vaping experience. It's much like e-cig vaping and gas-station cig-a-like disposables - they're just not that great and while there is a market for it, it's mostly because people simply don't know they can spend 25% more and get a significant improvement in quality.  I think that this is somewhat true for marijuana retailers across the board, as well.  I guess, I prefer to think this.

Well, off my soapbox for now.  There's a decent selection of these devices here at 420 Carpenter - more types than I've seen in one location yet.

Moving down the row of shelves, next there's a decent selection of edibles and concentrates. Again, every item is clearly marked and information is provided on the hand-made labels.  Pricing on these delicious concentrates seemed fair across the board.  None of the concentrates they had struck me as particularly impressive, with the exception of the Blue Dream/Harlequin cross with 40% CBD - but it's $45 a gram!

I love seeing all these familiar, delicious brands at different stores!  No matter where you shop you'll get a chance to try these if you wish.  I love 4.20 chocolates and Zoots.  Both are delicious, and supply a nice edible body buzz.  The High Tea is also pretty awesome, so I hear from many people.

When you turn around after looking in the indica cabinet, the last one to the right, you can see even more glass!  There's a big tall display cabinet with glass, which is basically near the door.  This is a ton of glass, with everything from cute, affordable bubblers to massive artistic bongs, and everything between.  I'm even further impressed by the amount of glass they have on display at 420 Carpenter.


The most important part of any trip to a marijuana retailer is the staff who work there.  There were several staffers here, and Donny at the door was awesome while the budtenders were busy.  First, I was helped by Tina Marie.  She was really knowledgeable about her product, and was able to spout details about cannabinoid content, flavor profiles, and high types.  Her attention to detail was incredible and I was impressed by her ability to keep up with my questions.  She had one particular recommendation to make - Cindarella's Dream, a very uplifted and energetic sativa. She made shopping in the store much more than a transaction - it was a fun interaction.

I also talked a bit with another budtender who was incredibly full of energy.  Kiana seemed pumped to be there, happy to talk to every customer I saw her interact with, and her personality is clearly upbeat.  She had smiles for everyone.  She also recommended Cinderella's Dream to me, so this must be something awesome. I'm sad to say that I did not try this double-recommended marijuana, because that day I was after value options - she helped me find which one I wanted.  I got Space Case Green Crack Pre-rolled, which I'll be reviewing very soon.

There was another newer budtender there as well, and she was definitely helpful and interested in taking part in the review - she was however the newest budtender and I generally do not spotlight brand new tenders for reasons.  I'll swing back another time and see how things have progressed!

On the way out, I saw this awesome piece of history, with signings from all the friends of 420 Carpenter who helped support them.  Pretty rad!

Overall, my trip to 420 Carpenter was awesome.  The people here are amazing.  Everyone was helpful, interesting, had a personality, and seemed to be interested in what they were doing.  There was a decent selection of marijuana varieties, strains, and farms.  Pricing was right on par with competitors, and they have an impressive, huge selection of outstanding glass of all sizes and prices.

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