Dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries have sprung up around the Valley over the last 18 months. While there is plenty of variety when it comes to product, the dispensaries themselves tend to look alike, favoring the utilitarian design of a doctor’s office or Apple store. However, some take a more individualistic tack and augment selection and service with unique style.
“The way to set yourself apart is outstanding customer service in an environment anyone can enjoy,” says Eli Scislowicz of NuLeaf. The aesthetic at NuLeaf is a sort of streamlined steampunk—the sales room walls are subway tile and product is stashed in wood-and-glass cabinets as well as lime-green retro refrigerators. Scattered throughout the building are vintage gadgets and machines, such as old-school rotary payphones, aspirin dispensers and magnifying glasses. As customers leave, they can push a button on an authentic art deco candy machine and out tumbles a prize such as a sticker, rolling papers or stash bag. “A lot of it, the smaller touches, were from Etsy and Amazon,” Scislowicz says. “Larger stuff we found on eBay and contacted people who refurbish those machines, like the candy machine.” He says that employees hear all the time from customers who “love the layout and love the feel.”
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
The Apothecary Shoppe lives up to its name with an elegant, old-school vibe. Enormous armchairs and crystal sconces in the waiting room lead up to a sales area completely outfitted in custom cabinetry—display cases with stained glass detail, tiny card catalog–style drawers, the store logo in frosted glass. “We always get that wow factor from people,” says The Apothecary Shoppe manager Jen McClaning. “You’ll be at the front desk when they check in, and when they walk through the door, you hear, ‘Oh, my God, this is great!’” The budtenders wear ties and sometimes even suits, while the soundtrack tends toward R&B slow jams—The Apothecary Shoppe’s atmosphere is about as far from the Deadhead tie-dye stoner stereotype as one can get, but still feels relaxed and welcoming. McClaning says that “the Nevada medical program is still very new, so you are getting people who have never really experienced cannabis before, and they don’t know what to expect. But being able to come into this kind of atmosphere, it helps with that. It’s a different setting.”
Photos by Krystal Ramirez
At Medizin, the design concept is slick and modern. In the waiting room, 3-D wall art based on the THC molecule and a chandelier made of seemingly hundreds of light bulbs give customers something to contemplate, while the sales area is dominated by enormous, colorized photo murals of Las Vegas legends from Frank Sinatra to Ann-Margret to Muhammad Ali. “We decided early on we wanted to do something really clean and modern, but also pay homage to Las Vegas. It’s such a great city,” says Robert Groesbeck, president of Medizin. “It was a labor of love.” The store soundtrack tends toward A Tribe Called Quest and the Beastie Boys; the logos for the house-brand strains like Banana O.G. and Stardawg have witty graphics. “We wanted to set ourselves apart from the rest. We wanted something very unique,” Groesbeck says. “A lot of our patients come in from other states and they’ve never seen anything like this. But that’s part of Vegas: You’ve always got to be bigger and better.”
Photos by Cierra Pedro