Real Estate

High Design: The Revolution Taking Over Cannabis Dispensaries

One of the locations is mirrored after an Italian deli, and it has green and white checkerboard flooring, deli cases and even tomato cans and olive oil canisters as props. Another is modeled after a 1960s supermarket, and the Superette team has a Blockbuster video store themed dispensary in the works.

Drummond Munro, Superette’s chief brand officer, said that the brand is intentionally aiming not to be “revolutionary” or “innovative.”

“We’ve started choosing themes and aesthetics for the stores that already fit within the existing retail landscape,” Mr. Munro said. “We thought, how do we make people feel as familiar with our stores as possible? So we decided to just give them elements they already know how to interact with.”

While more sophisticated cannabis retail spaces could change the minds of people who’d otherwise turn up their noses at weed, they’re also making the experience better for longtime consumers.

Marianna Torres, 34, an aesthetician who lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., said that she first came across the Wyllow dispensary on TikTok. “It’s definitely not the typical warehouse-looking store. I thought, ‘Oh, this is aesthetic. Let me go check this out,’” she said. “It almost didn’t feel like I was in a store, more like an experience or a museum.”

For Bill Rutsey, 75, who has been using cannabis since his late teens, going into a Superette store was “a stimulating, visible experience, as opposed to the staid, boring feel of a dispensary behind a counter.”

Mr. Rutsey, who is now retired and lives in Toronto, added, “it’s kind of like the difference between the feelings you get going into Supreme versus J.C. Penney.”

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