Until June 26, 2018, cannabis users in Oklahoma lived under one of the strictest anti-marijuana laws in the country. With simple possession carrying a penalty of up to one year in prison, pot smokers would have been well-advised to restrict their use to the comforts of their own home.
Today, licensed patients can smoke or vape cannabis in locations regulated by Oklahoma’s “Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act,” according to the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s current rules. The statute prohibits smoking at “any indoor place used by or open to the public … or any indoor workplace, except where specifically allowed by law.” Businesses comply by designating rooms or porches for smokers.
One such place is Gypsy Coffee House, 303 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The coffeehouse has been a bastion for free-thinkers and artistic souls since it opened in 2000, and now it’s partnered with Eufloria Dispensaries to create Tulsa’s first cannabis friendly cafe.
Eufloria’s mini-storefront is located inside Gypsy, although it has a separate entrance from the cafe. It stays open 24 hours a day, and the coffee shop stays open until 2 a.m. Anyone with a medical card is free to use Gypsy’s outdoor patio to consume cannabis.
Eufloria owners Tim Borgmann and Eric Dangler have both traveled extensively, including to places like Amsterdam, where cannabis is sold and smoked openly in coffeeshops. “I’ve been to Amsterdam at least 10 times,” Dangler says. “Immediately when it became legal, I thought a coffeeshop and a dispensary would be great.”
Dangler and Borgmann want to help normalize cannabis, especially for patients who might be wary of what they perceive as drug culture. For that reason, Eufloria eschews the headshop aesthetic, instead modeling their shop after an apothecary.
As far as the cafe is concerned, cannabis is only a small part of the Gypsy. The cafe also hosts open mic nights, features work from local artists, and serves food, coffee and tea. “It’s like everything else inside the Gypsy,” says Borgmann about cannabis. “When you come here, you own it. It’s here for you.”
The Flower District shopping center at 2606 S. Sheridan Road is home to a number of cannabis businesses. Cardholders shopping at Bong Boutique in Suite H are welcome to light up in the store. Like Eufloria, Bong Boutique tries to stay away from stereotypical stoner gear.
“It’s somewhere you could possibly bring your grandma or your mom,” says sales associate Randy Kay. “No adult toys shoved in their face or any of that weird stuff people try to sell.”
“We don’t over-sexualize images of women, which is something we’ve noticed at different glass shops,” fellow sales associate Chell Cook says.
The Flower District also features Tulsa’s first cannabis-friendly event center, hosting weed-friendly weddings, birthdays, holiday parties and other events on a regular basis. “Wake and Bake Yoga” happens at 11 a.m. every Sunday.
Cannabis, although much more widely accepted than it was previously, is still an unfamiliar or even taboo subject for many. Weed-friendly public spaces can help battle that stigma and help people become more comfortable with the idea of using it. For those on the fence about cannabis, a safe place to experience it could make a huge difference.