After police raids, court battles, glass pipes return to store shelves in Norman
NORMAN — After police raids and several court cases, glass pipes are returning to store shelves this fall in Norman.
Two stores that sell glass pipes, bongs and other various smoking devices are preparing to open in October.
Oklahoma City-based Ziggyz Cannabis Co., a chain that sells hemp products and colorful glass pipes in the shapes of various cartoon and cult movie characters, plans to open a store at 1829 W Main Street in Norman in October. The location was once a Mexican store and taqueria.
The city of Norman has already approved signage for the new Ziggyz store, which includes a large marijuana leaf in the logo, said Ziggyz owner Chelsey Davis.
Davis said he decided to go ahead and open the new store although it remains unclear if he might face arrest and prosecution for selling items deemed by the city and district attorney as drug paraphernalia.
"There's still this question out there, but I think the public has spoken and the courts have spoken," Davis said. "I just don't know if the police or the district attorney has listened."
Davis sells the pipes for use with legal hemp products, he said. Ziggyz has six locations in Oklahoma City and the business has not run into problems with Oklahoma City police for selling glass pipes, he said.
The Friendly Market
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After a case that went all the way to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, The Friendly Market is still working on arrangements with Norman police to get its store inventory returned — including hundreds of glass pipes.
The Friendly Market is reopening in October in a restored art deco building on Porter Avenue in downtown Norman.
"We can be a part of downtown's culture and I've always been a big proponent of downtown Norman," said Stephen Holman, manager for The Friendly Market.
The Friendly Market was forced to close its original Norman store in 2015 after two police raids.
Holman, also an elected city councilman, said the store has received an outpouring of support from the public during and after the two-year court battle that followed.
"I don't think the public is ever going to stand for this happening again," Holman said.
The store is taking extra precautions to ensure it is following the law once it reopens, Holman said.
"We are not going to sell any illegal substances or sell anything to anyone who is under age," Holman said. "The police are invited to check us out and see what we're doing, too."
It remains unclear how law enforcement in Norman will respond to Ziggyz and The Friendly Market once the new stores open.
Sarah Jensen, a spokeswoman for the Norman Police Department, said the department will investigate if it becomes aware of any illegal activity at either business.
"We will continue to investigate all complaints brought to our attention by our citizens," Jensen said. "Our commitment to enforcing the law as it stands and protecting life remains the same."
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn was tied up with the high-profile Alton Nolen murder trial in Norman this week but said in a text message that his office would continue to prosecute glass pipe cases.
"Of course we will," Mashburn said.
Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›