“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.”