Dispensary Design Trends

By Erin M. Loewe

Photo by Robert Schmid Photography


While the dispensary business is bustling as marijuana legalization has marched its way up the West Coast (and Colorado), it has taken a little while for the design to catch up. Here are three concepts that are turning the tired head-shop motif, well, on its head.

Ajoya, Louisville, Colo.
Curvy, sleek, minimalist—the new Ajoya showroom in Louisville, Colo. (shown at top of page), looks more like a spa than a cannabis dispensary. Ajoya rebranded itself in this 2,000-sq.-ft. store to create a light-filled and welcoming environment. “Overall, the space was designed to make people feel immediately comfortable upon entry, make the security invisible, and present the products professionally in a clean, safe environment,” says Jeffery Sheppard, co-founder and design principal of Denver-based Roth Sheppard Architects. “Our design also elevates the appearance of the products by showcasing them in beautiful cases under dramatic lighting.”

Pineapple Express, West Coast

Rendering courtesy of the McBride Co.

While still in the conceptual stage, Pineapple Express is set to construct five to 10 stores on the West Coast in 2016. Ryan McBride, chief creative officer at Manchester Center, Vt.-based The McBride Co., says the stores will pay homage to the laid-back psychedelic culture without going over- board. There will be a subtle Hawaiian mural in the back and a “Mystic Pineapple,” which will act as a centerpiece and even has an interactive feature that will suggest a spirit herb. “[We wanted] to bring in elements to make it fun, but not shove ‘stoner culture’ down your throat,” he says.

Good Chemistry, Aurora, Colo.

Photo courtesy of good chemistry

As the second location for Good Chemistry, this 3,600-sq.-ft. showroom invites patrons to explore through four different theaters. Good Chemistry’s pioneering four-category cannabis system is prominent through the store’s bold signage, educating customers about the kind of experience they might like to have. “We are creating a world of cannabis in the same way that Apple has created a world of electronics,” says Tony Coleman, independent consultant with Boulder, Colo.-based Tony Coleman Brand Design. “Apple’s retail environment is designed to showcase the quality of their products. Good Chemistry’s stores are designed to showcase their commitment to the craft of cultivating cannabis products of remarkable quality.”

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