Photo: John Hickenlooper poses with Cheetos, Goldfish and marijuana center owner

Update below: After the passage of Amendment 64, Governor John Hickenlooper issued a statement advising folks to wait before breaking out the Cheetos and Goldfish -- an unexpected remark that quickly inspired its own Twitter hash tag. Now, a photo has surfaced featuring Hickenlooper posing with these snacks along with a medical marijuana center co-owner. But the man next to the governor in the shot stresses that the image's release is no joke.

Here's a larger look at the image, captured last Thursday at a Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum fundraiser:

Seen with Hickenlooper is Ean Seeb, co-owner of Denver Relief, one of the state's largest dispensaries, as well as a partner in Denver Relief Consulting, a relatively new firm that offers cannabis-industry-consulting services in Colorado and beyond.

You might also recognize Seeb from his appearance in 60 Minutes' recent medical marijuana primer. We've included that video below.

Yes, the photo of Hickenlooper and Seeb together with a pair of snack items beloved by those with the munchies is amusing. But a release accompanying the snapshot and reproduced in its entirety below frames the image as a symbol of the ways in which Hickenlooper, who opposed Amendment 64, and the preexisting MMJ industry can combine forces to make broader availability of cannabis in Colorado a reality.

"Denver Relief Consulting understands that people are going to have a sense of humor about legalization of marijuana," the statement notes, adding that Hickenlooper's statement "was poking fun at cannabis users." However, the release goes on, "Denver Relief Consulting is highlighting the very serious message voters in Colorado, and also in Washington, sent to public officials on Tuesday: Regulate marijuana and reverse prohibition."

"At this point, we've all had our fun, but now it's time to get down to business together," Seeb is quoted as saying in the release. "With Governor Hickenlooper's leadership, we can implement statutes and regulations that will immediately address the federal government's concerns, while respecting the will of 55 percent of Colorado voters. We made a clear choice on election night, and the governor has a unique opportunity to be on the right side of history and forge a sensible path forward."

Update, 8:14 a.m. November 13: We reached out to Governor John Hickenlooper's office to see if the folks there had a comment about the photo above or the accompanying release from Denver Relief Consulting. A short time ago, we received a one-word response via e-mail from spokesman Eric Brown: "No."

Continue to read the entire Denver Relief Consulting release, and to see the 60 Minutes report featuring Ean Seeb.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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