Just a few years ago, it seemed most cannabis retailers had the same hole-in-the-wall feel, designed to fly under the radar and not attract attention from law enforcement. But as the legal market has exploded, cannabis shops have come out of the shadows and have begun to use their storefronts and retail space to try and attract more customers through the doors.
These stores represent a sampling of some of the many ways cannabis retailers are creating shopping environments that are as visually stunning as they are effective.
Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop
Uncle Ike’s Pot Shops donated $37,194 in July to Entre Hermanos following Pride week sales. Uncle Ike’s, along with select cannabis brands sold in its three stores, donated 5% of proceeds earned June 18-24 to Entre Hermanos, a Seattle-based nonprofit that promotes the health and wellbeing of the Latino LGBTQ community through disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building.
Uncle Ike’s had previously participated in Seattle’s annual Pride Parade, but owner Ian Eisenberg said, “we felt our money would be better spent giving back to our community, especially during the Trump era when immigration and health reform are so important.”
Uncle Ike’s donated $12,000 to Entre Hermanos in 2017, which helped the organization expand its legal services.
“We started taking immigration cases in office for the first time in our organization’s history,” Entre Hermanos fundraising manager Miguel Bravo said. “This includes asylum, citizenship, DACA renewals and spouse petition. Also, we have incorporated into our legal programs, family law clinics. This includes adoption.”
Participating cannabis brands include: 1937 Farms, Artizen, Avitas, Bacon’s Buds, Craft Elixirs, Fairwinds,
Falcanna, Freddy’s Fuego, Gabriel, Goodship, Happy Apple, Heylo, House of Cultivar, Ionic, Leafwerx,
Pearl, Phat Panda, Royal Tree, Seattle Green Bud, Smokey Point Productions, Solstice, Sweetwater Farms, Top Shelf WA and Velvet Swing.
This feature kicks off a partnership between Marijuana Venture and ST Media Group, which have teamed up to create the annual Retail Design Excellence Awards.
“Over the past several years we saw this amazing growth in cannabis retail stores up and down the West Coast. What struck me was not just the number of retailers, but how innovative and interesting they had become,” says Marijuana Venture publisher Greg James. “I was often blown away by the stunning designs and interior layouts. We realized that it would be wise to team up with a respected national media company to create a process for awarding excellence in retailing. We talked to ST Media Group and their VMSD (Visual Merchandising and Store Design) team and quickly realized it was a match made in heaven.”
ST Media and Marijuana Venture will be presenting the Retail Design Excellence Awards to retailers with innovative and interesting design concepts in the cannabis industry. Award categories will include: best stand-alone store (major market); best stand-alone store (small market); best merchandising; best chain; best use of space: best use of signage and more.
“As the leading publication in the visual merchandising and retail design space, we’ve been covering the growing legal cannabis market and bringing our readers the most innovative projects in that market for years,” says Murray Kasmenn, senior vice president and group publisher at ST Media group. “We’re excited to team up with the leading publisher in the cannabis space to create a meaningful award that recognizes retail design excellence for these increasingly sophisticated efforts. VMSD’s 120-plus years of covering global retail design make us the ideal partners for this exciting new award.”