As a hometown "Marijuana Tourists", my buddy Jim and I made a day of it and decided to visit 7 or 8 shops. The few Jim had been to in the past were pretty ratty and made him feel uncomfortable like he was doing a back alley deal. He too, was on a mission to find "my" favorite pot shop.
For the most part, I felt like these businesses were just thrown together like a college frat house. Being well past the college age, I was craving a hip environment that I would enjoy patronizing in the future. I wondered why these dipensaries didn't put more effort into creating an amazing decor and memorable customer experience. It seemed the focus was on the back room and the product. Not a bad thing, but honestly, I felt a little neglected.
The next stop was even worse. I felt interrogated and violated in a strange little sterile lobby where they swiped my drivers license. I wanted to run. Once inside, we were lined up like sheep prohibited from wandering. The institutional look was understandable, considering they wanted to be seen as 'medicinal" in the early days, but I felt cold and wanted to break out of the line and go sip a latte in a cozy coffee shop.
After a few more seedy attempts, we finally stopped in a Victorian cottage in uptown. Scattered with a few antique pieces, it had a comfortable charm, but very little product selection and a back alley entrance. We finally found another comfortable downtown dispensary where we hung out on couches, took in the sights and soaked up the vibe before we made our selections.
As an interior designer, I couldn't help but wonder why so many of these dispensaries thought so little of the front of their store and the customer experience. I realized they didn't understand the value in it and probably didn't have the time or skill to improve their space and brand their business. And then we became inspired to help change the perception of recreational and medicinal marijuana shops in Denver.
Welcome to Pot Shop Designs.
Interior Design & Branding for the Cannabis Industry