When the cannabis industry began emerging from the shackles of prohibition in 1996 after more than half a century of raids and harsh punishment, licensed dispensary operators weren’t necessarily comfortable stepping out into the open. Between operators’ understandable urge to keep their heads down and patients’ concern about stoner stigma wreaking havoc on their personal and professional lives, dispensary designs were … let’s call them inconspicuous.
The industry has changed dramatically since then. Dispensaries no longer keep low profiles. In fact, some of the largest and most impressive figuratively shout their presence from their own rooftops. Fierce competition in the retail sector is reflected in interiors and exteriors that are bold and beautiful, displaying the kinds of design sensibility, attention to detail, and technology integration that create experiences, not just shopping opportunities.
The mononymous Clodagh founded her self-named design company in Manhattan, where she’s left a noteworthy impression on the city’s medical cannabis industry. She designed women-owned medical dispensary Etain with the idea of creating a space where people feel comfortable and safe when picking up their medication. “I think the best thing a designer can do is create an experience where people feel ease of self,” she said. “I brought all of the elements into the space, and all bodily senses are addressed, allowing people to forget their pain for a moment and truly relax.”
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