By Patrick Wagner
DENVER — Ean Seeb, like many others, came into medical cannabis on accident. More specifically, by a ski accident that left him with permanent nerve damage and few effective treatment options. A decade later Seeb found relief through medical marijuana and has been an active member of the industry since.
Through contacts in the industry, Seeb met partners Kayvan Khalatbari and Nick Hice. The trio each brought a different expertise to what would become one of the cornerstone medical marijuana companies in Colorado. There was the experienced business owner (Khalatbari), a master grower (Hice), and a seasoned caregiver (Seeb) with a sizeable number of clients and Denver Relief hit the ground running in 2008.
“We started with $4,000 dollars and half a pound of cannabis,” Seeb said. “We bought a phone number from the phone company, ported it to a cell phone and started a delivery service.”
After making $10,000 in their first month, the trio realized that their delivery service may need to evolve into something larger.
Denver Relief’s retail space officially opened up the first week of 2010 and has remained there ever since. Today, Denver Relief services both medical and recreational customers while also operating its sister company, Denver Relief Consulting, which has helped establish more than a dozen cannabis operations. Each original member of the team still plays active roles in the consulting aspect.
The group’s ambitions also extended into charity with Denver Relief’s Green Team, an organization dedicated to community services like feeding the homeless, wheelchair and bike repair, producing organic produce for food banks and even cleaning up after the annual 4/20 celebration in Denver’s Civic Center Park.
“It complements our business. We got into this business because we want to help people and we have a vested interest from a humanistic standpoint to leave the world in a better place than when we got here,” said Seeb, who is also chairman of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
“A couple of years ago, there was nothing in place to normalize the industry and keep that black eye from growing bigger,” Khalatbari told the Denver Post in a 2013 story. “People were still operating as if it was really underground, and once we got in we didn’t want to be lumped in with those people.”