Customers walking in the main entrance to Good Titrations’ retail and manufacturing facility in Fairbanks will be given a choice of destinations: left toward the spacious retail area or right to its new on-site consumption cafe. Windows offer a peek into a cannabis grow room between the two.
“The way the space was designed is you pick your own adventure,” Good Titrations co-owner and chief operating officer Brandon Emmett said.
In early April, workers were putting the final touches on the cafe at 506 Merhar Ave. and planning a grand opening for April 20. Emmett and co-owner and chief financial officer Shaun Tacke believe on-site consumption is a natural next step in the cannabis industry. Emmett was also one of the original members of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, which wrote the rules of on-site consumption.
Good Titrations was approved for on-site consumption in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed their plans. A business in Ketchikan did briefly open for on-site consumption, but the pandemic forced it to close after just a few days. Another Fairbanks business, GoodSinse, has also been approved for on-site consumption but haven’t announced an opening date.
So, that means Good Titrations would become the only on-site cannabis consumption cafe in the United States, Emmett said.
“All eyes will be on us,” he said. That’s one reason the two are going about their opening carefully and making sure every detail has been considered. The payoff will be big, they believe.
“We’d like to see Fairbanks become a mecca for cannabis tourism,” Emmett said.
The addition will add another 30 jobs at Good Titrations, including baristas, budtenders, cooks and more.
Except for the exterior, the building’s former life as a Chili’s Bar & Grill is unrecognizable. Emmett and Tacke have extensively remodeled and will be expanding parts of their vertically integrated cannabis business into a section of the former kitchen.
Emmett noted that customers will be hard-pressed to find too many right angles in the building: corners and rooms are full of acute and wide-angled spaces. “We wanted something that was very different,” he said.
The cafe itself has an old-timey feel, with a coffee bar in the middle and comfortable booths upholstered in the company’s signature burnt orange and blue colors. One window looks into the grow area and another is set off slightly, surrounded by round frosted windows with the Good Titrations logo engraved in them.
The windows were done by Auto Trim Design, Tacke said. Dark-colored retro lighting fixtures hang from the ceiling and a custom counter was installed at the coffee bar.
The cafe itself was designed by Harko Architecture in Portland, Oregon.
The entire space is spotless. Workers from Wenger Woodwork from Ester were putting the final touches on the coffee counter and decorative woodwork in early April.
“We pride ourselves on cleanliness, customer service and promoting the cannabis lifestyle,” Emmett said.
Cafe customers must buy the cannabis there — they cannot bring it with them and they cannot buy it on the retail side of Good Titrations and bring it down the hall, Tacke said.
The cafe will offer a wide variety of products, including coffee and eventually a kitchen with a menu of “hipster fancy” foods, such as upscale grilled cheese and mac and cheese, what Tacke calls “comfort food for stoners.” The working name is “The Cheesehead Joint.”
Until the kitchen is completed, customers can sip a cup of coffee or other nonalcoholic drinks and hang out in a safe environment while enjoying their choice of cannabis products. The tables even have plug-ins so customers can charge their devices. A water station is located on one wall, in case of dry mouth.
The space has a capacity of 60 or 70 people, Tacke said, although some allowances for COVID-19 safety and social distancing will be made. For now, customers are asked to wear masks unless they are eating, drinking or smoking.
Emmett and Tacke are also planning to expand Good Titrations’ manufacturing arm to a portion of retail area. While most of the company’s manufacturing is done in their 8,000-square-foot facility in south Fairbanks, they plan to introduce new products such as THC-infused ketchup and other sauces.
THC-infused sauces make sense, Tacke said.
While it would be difficult to serve THC-infused food such as cheeseburgers and to be able to control the portions or the dosing unless someone ate the entire burger, serving THC-infused sauces in packets containing 5 grams apiece would allow people to decide how much they wanted to ingest, he said.
He said Good Titrations is looking at a range of new products, especially edibles. They recently introduced what they call Doobie Drops, which is a THC-infused drop that can be added to drinks.
The product contains water-soluble THC which is “super-tart” on its own but “gives you that effect a lot quick” than other edible products, Tacke said.
Contact Alaska Cannabist writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.