"Friendly Market" set to re-open Norman location
Norman, Okla. (KOKH) —
It's the light at the end of the tunnel for the Friendly Market in Norman. The store, that specializes in it's selection of legal glass pipes, was embroiled in a lengthy legal battle. Today, nearly two years after their first raid, they're getting ready to start again.
The Friendly Market opened in late 2014. Before delving into a business that can come with legal ramifications, owners received legal guidance to prevent run-ins with the law.
"The only reason a shop would get raided was because they are selling illegal products out of the back, or they're selling K2 or they're caught selling it as a bong or illegal item. He said 'as long as you follow the rules you shouldn't be in trouble,'" said store spokesperson Wesley Cox.
But that wasn't the case. In November of 2015, the store was raided for the first time, only to be raided again just a few weeks later. Not long after they closed their doors for good as they fought the battle of a lifetime. That battled lasted over a year as they found a slew of misdemeanor and felony charges. However, a jury ruled in their favor and all who were facing charges were found not guilty, including city councilman Stephen Holman.
The court also ruled that the $15,000 worth of merchandise seized from the store, be returned.
After everything this store has been through, those behind it are ready to start again. They're also doing it in the same city that tried to shut them down.
"He really wanted it to be in Norman even though he knew there was a chance that we might have to deal with more municipal issues. But this time around we're going to be even more by the book, we're going to be even more careful, and to make sure that there's no question about us being within the law," said Cox, speaking on behalf of his father.
Their new location is on Porter Street. While it's a happy ending Cox says they will remain vigilant so they don't find themselves in the same legal situation again.
"Just because we had all positive verdicts there's nothing stopping them from continuing the harassment that we experienced over the last few years," said Cox.
The store is set to open in about two weeks.