Photo Credit: Cannawayz
With a history in medicine, a passion for cannabis, and an obligation to focus on terpenes first, Dr. Terpz cannabis dispensary, launched their Midwest City dispensary during the pandemic in 2020. A dispensary open 24 hours a day with a drive-thru, Dr. Terpz is creating unique ways to purchase medicinal cannabis.
I myself haven’t had the pleasure of shopping cannabis via drive-thru and outside of Las Vegas, I can’t think of a state that has 24-hour dispensaries. With a welcoming storefront painted yellow and green, and with a team of owners that are classified as “minorities/ people of color”, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Terpz.
How It Started
This dispensary was born because there was a lack of focus on terpenes in the Cannabis space. Co-owner Sal Ali says:
“Dr. Terpz came about because my brother is an M.D. He went to medical school in the Dominican Republic, and when he came back, he joined me in the cannabis industry. We felt that terpenes at the time were not being promoted in the industry as much as they should so, the brand was created around him.
Prior to that we actually opened a store in Oklahoma City called Terpinz. We did everything to establish that business and then the investor pretty much took it from us”.
When I asked how hard it was to establish a cannabis business as a person of color, Sal stated:
“It is very hard for minorities in this industry. Access to the amount of capital needed to survive and thrive is probably the number one difficulty”.
In comparison to other states, Sal says that Oklahoma is easier than many:
“Being in multiple states I would say Oklahoma is by far the best market for minorities. The red tape is much easier to handle than pretty much any other state.”
The Leadership Team
It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is mostly white male dominated. When I am introduced to a company in this industry that is owned and operated by women and people of color, I always want to know more. The leadership team at Dr. Terpz is described by Sal as:
“Our leadership team consists of me, my brother Kam Ali, Eddie Colon, Oscar Pena of “Super”O” management (they manage famous clientele from the Latin music industry), and Elias Sparagis (an operations expert)”.
Future Plans for Dr. Terpz and Why Patients Should Shop There
Dr. Terpz has plans for expansion but capital and is always a concern. When I asked Sal why patients should shop with Dr. Terpz, he stated:
“The main reason is we are deeply rooted in the cannabis culture. We treat our patients like family and we have tons of experience in the industry. Being minorities, we have had to do it all. We wear many different hats, and usually, other more capitalized companies can just come in and hire all the help they need. This has given us the advantage of having a deep understanding of all aspects of the business”.
Advice for Minorities Trying to Get into the Cannabis Industry
Sal leaves us with this:
“Plan, plan, and plan again before jumping in. Having a solid vision and plan that you are working towards executing, will save you a lot of pain and heartache.”
Dr. Terpz looks out for the community with deals like:
Penny pre-roll 1st timer, get a pre-roll for a penny with a $25 purchase, and a free 1/2 gram with the purchase of an eighth.
Support minority owned businesses because it helps the entire community. As GreenAmerica.org says:
“Supporting minority-owned businesses in turn supports families, employees, and other business owners, as well as attracts community investors who provide banking services, loans, and promote financial literacy–all things that build economic strength.”
This piece was originally written by Veronica Castillo, and published in Oklahoma Chronic Magazine.