Medical marijuana dispensary review: Denver Relief is a relief to visit

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In "Mile Highs and Lows," Westword offers a no-holds-barred look at what goes on behind the locked doors of marijuana dispensaries, whether they resemble swanky bars, sterile dentist's offices or a dope dealer's college dorm room. See our current dispensary list here, and keep reading for William Breathes's review of Denver Relief.

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The cup overfloweth...
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Denver Relief
1 Broadway #A150
303-420-6337
www.denverrelief.com

Hours of operation: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every day
Owners: Ean Seeb, Kayvan Khalatabri, Adam Johnson
Owner's statement: "Denver Relief has one goal, and that is to provide safe and readily available medicines and other wellness services to state of Colorado registered Medical Marijuana Patients."
Opened: May 25, 2009

Raw marijuana price range: $45-$55 eighths. Member prices capped at $49/eighth.
Other types of medicine: In-house edibles, hash, hash oil, tincture, pre-rolled joints.

Patient services and amenities: Wellness services in upstairs facility.
Handicap Access: Yes.

Our take: I walked into Denver Relief a few months ago to check out some good things I had heard about and pick up a bag of their Colorado Caregiver's Cup-winning strain, Bio-Diesel. A few days later, I got a call from a mutual friend of Denver Relief co-owner Ean Seeb and myself telling me that I shouldn't wear the Rockies cap seen in my recent CNN appearance into dispensaries anymore if I don't want to be recognized.

The jig was up with Denver Relief, so-to-speak. Now, I won't do this often if at all -- I don't plan on making a habit of introducing myself before I write my review of a place by any means. But still, I felt Denver Relief was worthy of pointing out.

Denver Relief is located in the Baker Neighborhood on Broadway, four doors down from a Denver Police substation. Admittedly, it's a bit awkward to walk out of a dispensary and see a cop walking your way, but Seed said they have been supportive of Denver Relief so far. Two couches fill the small waiting room, with plenty of reading material on the table and some low-playing jazz on the tiny boom box in the corner.

I had to show my doctor's recommendation since I still have yet to receive my medical marijuana license in the mail (38 days and counting), but the guys in the reception area said it wasn't an issue since I had my proof of mailing. Denver Relief started as a delivery-service, but after a co-owner was car-jacked a few months ago for several hundred dollars and a few grams of ganja, the guys opted for a safer way of distribution.

The storefront, by contrast, is Fort Knox compared to public meetings with strangers. To get to the bud bar, customers have to be let in through two heavy locked security doors. The first door leads you from the waiting room into a small retail space with a single glass case for displaying various pipes and Denver Relief merchandise. Seeb says he hopes to build out the room more to showcase local glass artists work.

Moving through the second security door leads you into the dispensary. The bar itself feels like the lobby of a bank, with a high marble counter top that is separated by wooden partitions, as well as a lower counter for wheelchair access. Blown up pictures of the shop's grow operations hang near a small fridge in the corner that holds the clinic's in-house edibles. Seeb said the faux-brick façade and wooden paneling on the walls and ceiling give the room a clean and contemporary but still slightly rustic feel that he felt mirrored many of the rehabbed vintage homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

The same professional but relaxed atmosphere is carried over to the Denver Relief Wellness Center in the building upstairs from the dispensary. A small, four-room office space has been converted to a waiting room, two massage and physical rehabilitation rooms, and a small conference room where Seeb says he plans to hold wellness and growing clinics. Seeb said they wanted to physically separate the wellness services from the dispensary so that non-medical marijuana patients could have access to them. "We didn't want this to just be about the medicine, because there is a lot more to wellness than just that," he said.

But while they pride themselves on offering wellness and community services, the real focus of the shop is the ganja up on the shelves. I was blown away by the quality of the dozen-or-so strains they had on hand. Nearly everything that came from their warehouse grows was connoisseur-quality and the top shelf strains -- including Bio Diesel and Blue Dream -- were nearly glowing in the large apothecary jars along the back wall. I've seen similar quality easily sell for ridiculously high prices (up $70 an eighth) in other clinics.

Seeb also took the time to talk to me about the genetics and grow process of every strain -- including the select few they purchased from vendors. He also took the time to talk me through the line of edibles they make and the different levels of hash and hash oil each type contained. Granted, he knew I was a reviewer at this point, but I get the feeling they welcome discussing their products in detail with anyone who wants to listen. I could have walked out with any of the strains and been happy -- but I chose two top-shelf strains that run at $55 an eighth.

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Will Breathes
Dopium

While the name isn't one of my favorites, the Dopium was one of the best looking strains I have seen yet in a dispensary. This cross of Sour Diesel and Chem Dawg was grown extremely well in organic coco and dried and cured perfectly. In the light, the herb looked fluorescent green, and it burned clean with a tangy diesel funk all the way to the end. Though it has some indica qualities to its effects, I was impressed most by the energetic, mind-racing sativa qualities of it.

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Will Breathes
Durban Poison

I also split the eighth up and also grabbed some of the fruity and spicy, sativa-dominant Durban Poison. I have really come to like this strain lately because it is strong medicine for my nausea and appetite, but it doesn't pack the strong high that could leave me worthless after a mid-day puff. Equally as impressive of a cut as the Dopium, the Durban burned to a clean white ash with spicy flavor down to the last draw.

The Wildflower Seed and William Breathes are the pot pen names of our two alternating medical marijuana dispensary reviewers. Read their bios here.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Denver Relief

1 Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: General

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3 comments
dpeck007
dpeck007

Dennis Peck I know better and so do you that i have not had any issues with anyone other than the rep who said he didn't want to give me the pen because you only had a few. Forgive me, but am i incorrect in reading your ad? Does it not say first 10k pens? or does it say first 10k customers? Am i wrong? and the ad is directed to prompt customers to buy before they are all gone. In addition, a nice lady walked in just after me, and said "i want another pen" the gentleman helping her gave her no issues and said OK. So why did i receive different treatment?

dpeck007
dpeck007

I was asked to never return here because I asked the relief to honor a sale that they have. Buy two cartridges of oil, and get a pen for free. The guy helping me said he would not give me the pen because they only had a few left. I advised to the rep that the ad says first 10K pens free, the guy threw his hands up and said fine. I thanked the person for honoring the ad. Shortly after, i received a call while i was at my job. The same rep sounded happy in telling me that the entire company agreed i should not return. I think relief has good meds, but this treatment was completely backwards of how a "medical facility" should treat patients. I hope the company realizes how this treatment is rude. Denver relief is the furthest dispensary i go to. So i will not have an issue with receiving care, but i am really disappointed in your staff Denver Relief. I will continue to post this complain on alll of your review sources i an find available. I frankly havee no interest in returning, after such treatment. However, i hope to save others from receiving treatment a company who lets one staff member BANISH me, or one from receiving care.

Denver_Relief
Denver_Relief

@dpeck007Dennis, we're sorry that we can't allow you back in our facility. We don't feel that the above story is an accurate representation of the events that transpired yesterday, but more to the point, your repeated mistreatment of our staff is something we simply can't stand for. 


We're proud to employ some of the brightest, hardest working, and most compassionate professionals in this industry. When they tried to show empathy for the repeated complaints you made over how "inconvenienced" you were by traveling to our location, you responded by becoming more and more insolent. That's unacceptable to us.

Sticking up for our employees is more important than receiving a poor review from an isolated incident. We're confident that patients reviewing our body of work as Denver's longest continually operated medical marijuana center will see things the same.

If you'd like to discuss this further, feel free to send us a message, but we'll consider this the end of our public discourse on the matter.

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