cannabis dispensary design

Berkshire Roots was an early dispensary design in Massachusetts. This design is leading to other dispensary projects.

It’s interesting how our business evolves and develops: our attempts to plan and forecast over the years didn’t anticipate cannabis dispensary design–possibly because dispensaries just didn’t exist in our region. But since our successful completion of the Berkshire Roots design in Pittsfield, MA, we’ve acquired four more dispensary design projects and a number of inquiries.

By applying our hospitality, commercial and residential design sense at Berkshire Roots, we were able to create an effective interior that brings the Berkshire outdoors inside.

As at Berkshire Roots, dispensaries also striving to offer positive, aesthetically appealing customer experiences. The smooth movement of interior traffic flow and waiting lines, secure display case design, product information displays, employee work stations, building security, product security and the logistics of back-end operations — all crucial to effective dispensary operation. Outside, dispensaries are eager to be good neighbors in their communities and to convey the image of professional responsibility, security and discretion. Our firm provides design-build consulting as well, for an inside-outside impact.

Our Berkshire Roots project in Pittsfield has drawn attention from other dispensary entrepreneurs. Visitors want to see how this early Massachusetts medical dispensary (now also selling retail cannabis) sought to present themselves and their business. The owners of  NovaFarms in Attleboro, MA, were so impressed that they hired us to design their dispensary, one of two they will operate.

“The big things for us are an aesthetic appeal, look, feel and flow,” said our client, when we asked about his design priorities for Attleboro, and a second pending project in Framingham.

We are also designing Calyx, a dispensary planned for downtown Great Barrington, Massachusetts; we are also talking with the owners of a Westfield, Massachusetts project. 

Could it be that — with our unique, site-specific, stylish designs, and our knowledge of the strict rules, regulations and security requirements for dispensaries–that we are becoming early experts in this budding field of design for the consumer cannabis industry? Could be!

But our appeal for dispensary companies also stems from the broad scope of our work over the past 30 years: designing spirited and stylish interiors for hotels, spas, corporate interiors, retail, and, of course, hundreds of residential projects. William Caligari Interior Design is the designer of the Canyon Ranch spa resorts in both Lenox, Massachusetts and Tuscon, Arizona, among other high-end destination resorts — in which interior design is part and parcel of the visitor experience.

As the industry take a broader hold in our state, one thing is certain: Dispensary owners are eager to present dispensary interiors that validate their products. They aim to balance style, discretion and respectability with state-mandated security and safety requirements, in a setting where customers can’t pick up and handle the products! Melding those restraints and business goals with strong, creative design results in a powerfully effective business model.

Rendering of Calyx, planned for Great Barrington

What I find most interesting about our current and past projects is the speed of this cannabis evolution. We have been designed dispensary interiors for clients whose products don’t yet exist, their packaging isn’t developed yet and the graphics and branding are in their infancy. Imagine the challenges presented in designing an effective interior–but we are delivering the solutions.

Every new dispensary project brings advancements in product offerings and reveals more about how the cannabis shopper will interact with the retail environment. Clearly, owners are eager to include an educational component in their design, to help them define and differentiate their products, to building brand loyalty and convey a sense of individuality and brand.

As our neighbors in New York and Connecticut navigate the likely, eventual, legalization of marijuana, we anticipate more consultations and look forward to serving this growing industry.