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Catherine Colbert

Marijuana Dispensaries Turn to High Design

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

April 7, 2016 | 1 Comment »

As a growing number of marijuana marketers roll out their retail establishments, intuitive interior designers hold the keys to their success.

The nation’s cannabis retailers are tapping the creative talents of interior designers to boost the perception of their stigmatized businesses and to solve their more unique display and service challenges.

As a result, marijuana dispensaries are beginning to look more like luxury hair salons or hip coffee shops, complete with reclaimed wood, industrial lighting, and natural stone, according to Interior Design.

Designers working to elbow their way into this hot niche market now stand to benefit most. The US industry includes about 11,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multilocation companies) with a combined annual revenue of about $9 billion.

Demand for dispensary design is growing, particularly as more states allow the establishment of cannabis retail. Medicinal marijuana is legal in 19 states, and recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

The leading design for pot shops elegantly combines go-to elements used in health care, retail, and hospitality.

For a project in Colorado, The High Road Design Studio incorporated sleek stainless-steel containers to give Park Range Recreationals an old-world apothecary vibe.

Bucking the trend of having a stuffy consultation counter, The McBride Company has created a design concept for national chain Pineapple Express years before its intended rollout nationwide. The firm’s design evokes a Hawaiian-resort retail experience with touch screens, bakery-like display cases, and plush furniture.

Industry Impact — Interior designers that take on marijuana dispensary projects will encounter more unique challenges such as improving public perception and addressing display and service challenges.

Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is an industry researcher, writer, and blogger. Previously, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.


Photo courtesy of Paper & Leaf.

Considering the negative stigma that tends to surround dispensaries, I think that it’s great that interior designers are helping them look more high end. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Thanks for sharing!

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