An informational display about concentrates is part of the layout at the new location for The Clinic, one of the larger marijuana retailers in Denver, photographed July 7, 2016. (John Leyba, Denver Post file)

Weed is the new microbrew: Why pot and hemp outfits are investing in aesthetics

The marijuana and hemp industries are growing up, and businesses are starting to spend a lot of money to upgrade the design and aesthetics of their operations.

Morris Beegle, a music industry veteran who went onto found the Colorado Hemp Company, equates these actions to moves made in music retailing as well as craft beer.

“You look at all these little breweries, you go in there and you’ve got a dozen beers to drink from and then they’ve got their pint glasses and their T-shirts and their hats,” Beegle says. “And it’s cool, little, small places that you can go drop $20, $30, $50, $100, a couple-hundred bucks; and people love to walk in there and spend time if they’re treated well and it looks nice.”

Beegle and The Cannabist’s national policy and business reporter Alicia Wallace joined Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca on The Cannabist Show to talk about these industry trends.

“As niche turns to mainstream, everything gets a little bit slicker, and the consumer is as well,” Wallace says. “The consumer is growing up as well. They’re becoming more discerning. And with the added competition, you’ve got to step up your game. … I think it’ll be interesting to watch not just from a dispensary design perspective but even from a packaging standpoint as well — product packaging — what folks will have to do to be able to stand out in the market.”

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