Member Blog: Personal Touches for Successful Cannabis Dispensaries

Everyone in the retail dispensary industry is trying to create unique and memorable ways to bring in more customers and up the per ticket sales. The trend of the past few years has been to try to appeal to as many people as possible, and take on almost a generic, fast food style. This is exactly what the big guys do. Cookie cutter locations that lack personality and individuality. While this may be tempting to replicate and seem like a sure fire win, designing your location to appeal to everyone ends up boring your ideal customer. Cannabis retail experiences should have an on brand wow factor. If customers didn’t want that, they could just order online and pickup. 

Dispensaries strive to create unique and memorable experiences for their customers. As a retail interior designer with a focus on dispensary design, incorporating personal touches can significantly contribute to the success of the dispensary. These special touches also boost your brand identity and be a great starting point for marketing and social media content for your brand. 

How do you reflect your brand identity?

One of the key aspects of dispensary design is ensuring that the space reflects the brand identity of the cannabis retailer. Incorporate elements that showcase the company’s values, mission, and overall aesthetic. I love when I walk into a dispensary and learn the “why” behind the brand. Why are they doing this? Who are they impacting? A favorite ‘personal touch’ of mine happens to be a mural dedicated to the store owner’s mother who had passed away from cancer. My client opened his dispensary to provide relief to other cancer patients. The murals featured her namesake flower as well as her favorite colors. He is an aquaponic grower, hence the fish. 

From custom signage to branded displays, and incorporating unique and personal touches ,a cohesive visual identity contributes to a memorable and recognizable dispensary experience.

How can I merchandise?

Creative merchandising plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining customers. It also goes way beyond just how something looks on a shelf or wall. Use personalized displays to highlight featured products, promotions, or staff picks. This doesn’t necessarily mean more info cards or signage. Incorporate unique shelving, display cases, or even interactive elements that engage customers and encourage exploration within the space. A great example of this is at the Woods. Check out how a very simple wall mounted box display fits the personality of the shop and also engages people to take a longer peek. 

How can I represent my culture & philanthropy?

Infusing your proud culture and art into the dispensary design is a great way to show people who you are, who you support and where you came from.  Whether it’s through local artist artwork, murals, or installations, integrating artistic elements adds depth and character to the space. Collaborating with local artists to create custom pieces that resonate with both the brand and the community. Talk about organizations that you support and what they do. I have a great client who includes a small card in each bag that says “Thank you for your purchase. We donate 10% of our profits to the Friends of Puerto Rico.” They also feature contemporary Puerto Rican Artists in their hall gallery and entry area. 

Ultimately, dispensaries will compete for customers and sales, like it or not. In the competitive retail world, personal touches set cannabis retailers apart and contribute to the overall success. Whether through reflecting brand identity, engaging visual merchandising, artistic influences, comfortable spaces, personalized interactions, interactive technology, or sustainable elements, the goal is to create a unique and welcoming experience for customers. As a retail interior designer, embracing these creative ideas elevate the dispensary’s aesthetic and establish a lasting connection with its clientele.

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