Oklahoma now leads the nation in dispensaries per capita, with more than 9,000 licensed marijuana businesses, according to Politico. A survey published by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority in May 2020 reported nearly 300,000 licensed medicinal marijuana users partake in a variety of cannabis delivery methods – vaporizers, tinctures, pills and edibles.
And then there’s cannabis-infused ice cream.
One of the state’s top sellers of this sweet, creamy yumminess is OK Nice Cream, the brainchild of Todd Fischer, Derrell Morgan and Peggi McAlister. Edibles in the current market operate with a quantity-over-quality mentality, said Fischer, a trend that he and his OK Nice Cream partners set out to undo.
Formed in July 2018, the company was established with the goal of creating the most palatable method for medicinal marijuana. To do that would require the best, most authentic ice cream in Oklahoma.
“We’re trying to make the greatest ice cream you’ve ever had in your life that just so happens to have medication in it,” Fischer says. “Since we’re targeted on the idea of helping people through medication, we know people are focused on the delivery system, so we wanted a delivery system to be a smooth, creamy-tasting one.”
“I’ve heard so many positive testimonials, including people dealing with opioids or going through chemo, like my dad; he has stage four esophageal cancer,” Morgan says. “He says it tastes like ice cream back when he was a kid, and it helps with the pain.”
The marijuana ice cream company first garnered attention through its original marijuana-infused ice cream flavors – coffee, chocolate and a cold-pressed coffee – which eliminated the typical bitter taste of the active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, using a combination of culinary arts and chemistry. Products including ice cream, fruit bars and even THC butter are the creation of Todd Fischer, co-owner and production manager; or, as Morgan calls him, “The Heisenberg of OK Nice Cream,” a reference to the protagonist in AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
The business formed one month after Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize the medical use of cannabis on June 26, 2018. Before State Question 788 was up for a vote, Fischer and Morgan worked together in the kitchen of The Silver Spoon, a gourmet American restaurant in Lawton.
Leading up to the medical marijuana legalization vote, employees of the Silver Spoon asked one another how they would cast their ballot. Fischer – a culinary-school-trained chef and marijuana dabbler – understood that Morgan – a former U.S. Marine and ex-911 operator for the City of Lawton – didn’t feel the same; however, inklings of the ice cream business were already forming in Fischer’s imagination. He knew that the dichotomy between Morgan’s straightlaced nature and his chemistry, along with a culinary-based knowledge of cannabis, would create a sustainable business with built-in checks and balances. All Fischer had to do was convince Morgan to go along with it.
“About once an hour, I would send a waitress to him, tap him on the shoulder and ask how he was going to vote. Every time, he told them he’d vote no,” Fischer says. “After three hours, I could hear him hollering in the back, ‘Todd, you’re driving me insane! I hate you potheads!’ which prompted me to send someone every 30 minutes.”
Eventually, Fischer convinced Morgan by getting him to taste his homemade THC ice cream, similar to what is sold in varying sizes of OK Nice Cream. Morgan agreed to the business under one condition.
“‘If we can follow every rule in Oklahoma while making a product this good, then I’m in,’” Morgan says. “And I’ve been in ever since.”
Fischer and Morgan brought on Morgan’s sister, Peggi McAlister, as a third member to handle marketing for the new cannabis ice cream business. OK Nice Cream continues to experiment with new flavors and products, soon to include chocolates and gummies. To learn more, visit its website at oknicecream.com.