Denver Relief, co-founded by entrepreneurs Ean Seeb, Kayvan Khalatbari, and Nick Hice, dates back to 2009. The company sold its assets to CMH Brands, which processes marijuana into products for the country music star's recently launched pot business Willie's Reserve, The Cannabist reports. The sale price was not disclosed.
"It feels good because there are so many shared values between the two organizations," Seeb told The Cannabist. "Although the ownership is passing along, the mission and the vision of what we were trying to accomplish within Denver Relief is synonymous with what CMH Brands and Willie Nelson are attempting to accomplish."
Willie's Reserve partners with independent farmers and cultivators to grow cannabis for recreational sale. The purchase of Denver Relief's facilities and licenses enables CMH Brands to grow and process product for Willie's Reserve in Colorado, in addition to marketing it there. (Nelson's company also operates in Washington state's legal pot market.)
"I've smoked enough and I want to give back," Nelson, who has long advocated for legalization, explained in a press release. "Now that legalization is spreading across the country, there's a great opportunity to build a company that can help a lot of people." Willie's Reserve sells buds of marijuana flower, pre-rolled joints, and cartridges of CO2-extracted cannabis oil for vape pens through dispensaries.
A couple of months ago in Denver, Seeb told Inc. that he and his partners started Denver Relief as a medical marijuana company with $4,000, half a pound of marijuana, and a telephone number to take orders. The company benefited from Denver's low barriers to entry during the early days of legalization. Since then, Denver Relief has grown into one of the most respected dispensaries and cultivators in the state of Colorado. Going forward, Seeb and his partners will help other entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground in other states with Denver Relief Consulting, an arm of the company that was not included in the sale.
Willie Nelson is not the only celebrity getting into legal marijuana. Hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg has his own branded cannabis company called Leafs By Snoop (along with cannabis media site Merry Jane and other ventures). Actress and talk-show host Whoopi Goldberg started by-women, for-women pot edibles and products company Whoopi & Maya. And Bob Marley's family licensed the late reggae star's name and likeness to Privateer Holdings to form marijuana company Marley Natural.