Oil company goes green: APCO Oil Corp. begins rebrand with opening of APCO MED
One of Oklahoma’s newest marijuana businesses has ties to one of its oldest industries.
APCO MED Medical Marijuana Dispensary is a multi-purpose concept for marijuana, meditation, CBD, apparel and equipment. Co-founded by siblings Ford Austin and Shayna Marino, the business is the beginning of a rebrand from the 100-year-old family oil company APCO Oil Corp.
"We decided that marijuana is just a part of our overall business," Austin said.
At 313 NW 23, the nearly 9,000-square-foot facility contains a traditional dispensary with a variety of medical marijuana strains and other THC products.
But APCO MED is also home to a meditation studio and a large selection of apparel and art, as well as separate CBD products available for retail in an effort to cater to a larger audience and cultivate a culture of community.
The building has large glass windows along its storefront and the feel of a welcoming coffee shop in its lobby.
“What we want to create is a public place for the cannabis community,” Austin said.
This is all intentional, according to Austin, to dispel traditionally held beliefs about the industry and allow patients or other customers a chance to comfortably spend time in the store.
- Related to this story
- Article: Clarification
“One day we are going to be seeing cannabis businesses everywhere, and it won’t be an affront to everyone,” Austin said.
"Oregon, Colorado, Washington, California and Nevada have all paved the way towards widespread usage of cannabis in our country,” Marino said. “As a result of their efforts, Oklahoma, with the most liberal marijuana regulations in the United States, is poised to further help advance cannabis as a natural medicine thereby solidifying it as a mainstream medical treatment."
It’s quite a shift from a long-time energy company.
APCO Oil Corp. traces its roots to an oil and gas company founded in 1919 by Austin and Marino’s great-grandfather, J. Steve Anderson, with his partner L Prichard. Austin has managed the family assets in recent years, and while the family still has operations in the energy industry, Austin hopes to expand in the new marijuana industry.
“Along the way, we are going to divest away from oil and toward plant energy,” Austin said.
APCO Oil Corp. is a separate business from Tulsa-based Apco Oil and Gas International Inc., formerly Apco Argentina.
While APCO MED features many amenities seen at other dispensaries throughout the state, it also includes Dr. Carl Smith, who works in the facility for patients seeking medical marijuana recommendations. Austin insists Smith’s work at APCO MED is allowed by Oklahoma law because it is not Smith’s primary office.
But, House Bill 2612, more commonly known as the marijuana “Unity Bill,” recently passed by the Oklahoma Legislature and signed by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, states “A physician who recommends use of medical marijuana shall not be located at the same physical address as a dispensary.”
No language designating primary office locations is included in the Unity Bill.
The meditation studio at APCO MED is part of an effort to provide total wellness for patrons, Austin said.
“The meditation is a key part of it because it keeps you balanced,” he said.
Austin and Marino plan to continue to expand their business and intend to open two more locations in the Oklahoma City metro area in the next few months. After that, they hope to open one new location every six months, Austin said.
The company also holds licenses to grow and process marijuana, but is waiting to begin those parts of production until additional facilities are opened.