Few industries have garnered as much interest, support, and controversy as the cannabis industry. Legal recreational and medical cannabis have given people around the country relief from pain, anxiety, and inflammation and a new outlet for relaxation and socializing. For many, the chance to buy legal cannabis at a dispensary near them is a dream come true, so you want to make your dispensary feel every bit as exciting as your customers expect.
Vulcan Construction Group has been at the forefront of commercial and retail cannabis business design and construction, helping new and expanding businesses to create unique retail environments to showcase their products and welcome customers. Vulcan helps clients design immersive experiences, using the best and most trusted tools and products, and ensuring every dispensary meets important local compliance guidelines.
In 2022, the cannabis business is larger and more profitable than ever with no sign of growth slowing anytime soon. With more and more cannabis businesses cropping up, it is more important than ever to stand out and design your dispensary to stand out. Vulcan can help you design and build from the ground up, guiding the process for the best, most efficient, most effective finished product.
All businesses must abide by specific industry guidelines and compliance standards, but for cannabis businesses, compliance is paramount. Cannabis laws vary from state to state, and city to city, so dispensary owners must carefully research the specific requirements in their municipality.
Vulcan Construction Group is well versed in the compliance standards for all our serviced areas and can help you do things right from the beginning. With the help of Vulcan, you can avoid needing to make revisions and costly changes to your design by setting you up for success from the start.
Centering Customer Experience
Dispensary design requires you to consider tons of factors, from complicated legal matters to seemingly simple decisions like choosing the most appropriate finishes. Throughout the entirety of the design and construction process, and when considering each element, you must keep the customer experience in mind. Absolutely everything must be carefully chosen not only for its practical performance, but also for its potential to influence customer experiences.
The rapid expansion of the cannabis industry has made dispensaries far more common than ever before, and there is beginning to be real internal competition that requires you to work to stand out. Customers now have options, and the option they’ll choose will depend almost entirely on their experience in your store. An inviting, comfortable, and unique shopping experience can be the difference between a good and a great dispensary, and customers are often willing to pay higher prices for better selection, more knowledgeable and friendly staff, and a more exciting experience.
Leaving the customer with a good impression will bring them back again and again, and help you to earn a list of loyal regulars who support your business as you continue to grow. Some key features that we like to include to amp up the customer experience include:
- Sleak, easy to navigate entrances
- Displays throughout the dispensary
- Ample room for browsing
- Multiple points of contact with employees
Space & Location
In the past, customers were willing to travel to seek out dispensaries, but with more options available to them, today’s cannabis buyer would prefer a convenient option. Selecting the right location can make or break your business, especially in densely populated areas. The right location won’t have so much competition that you are lost in the crowd, but will also be an area where cannabis use is common.
Vulcan has had the opportunity to work with tons of dispensary owners, gathering key information that has informed the way we operate today. Vulcan’s team can help you to identify the right location for your dispensary, and choose a space that will fit the needs of your business.
In areas with lots of competition, some dispensary owners feel rushed to choose a location and get started right away. This can leave them with an inadequate or inaccessible space, limiting their potential for customer loyalty. Both the specs of the space and the location of the business are key elements of successful dispensary design, and an experienced contractor or designer can quickly tell you whether you’ve found the right location or not.
As of this writing (August 2022) cannabis is still federally illegal. Because of this, dispensaries have very limited banking options. While some dispensaries are beginning to take credit and debit card payments, many are cash-only. After a day of sales, cash-only dispensaries may have thousands of dollars in cash. Additionally, many dispensaries offer an ATM on-site, another source of cash that is kept in the store itself.
With large amounts of cash and cannabis on hand, dispensaries have sometimes become targets of criminal activity and robbery.
To protect profits, products, and personnel, dispensaries must be equipped with multi-leveled security. In addition to hiring security guards and providing employees with comprehensive security training, security should be built into the design of the dispensary. This can include, but is not limited to:
- Secure doors
- Shatter-proof glass
- Secure vaults
- Security cameras
- Alarm systems
Protocols & Planning
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it abundantly clear that having protocols in place before something happens can save your business. In the event of a public health crisis, another COVID shutdown, or similar disruptive events, it’s good to have a plan in place and a purposeful design that can support that plan.
For example: designing your dispensary to be able to be converted for social distancing at a moment’s notice can prevent revenue disruption and loss, and keep your employees and customers safe. If you are a medical dispensary, this is especially important, as some of your customers may use cannabis to alleviate symptoms of serious illnesses that suppress their immune systems, making them more vulnerable to illness.
Purposeful design from the very beginning can help you prepare for the worst while you hope for the best, and make you a more valuable asset to your community.
Working with an Experienced Contractor
We’ve mentioned it once or twice already, but it’s worth emphasizing again: your experience will be so much better if you choose to work with an experienced contractor.
At Vulcan, we’ve helped top dispensaries become successful using purposeful, practical, and efficient design strategies developed over years of industry experience. Designing, building, opening, and running a dispensary requires the coordination of so many elements, and for many, the most difficult and mysterious part is the initial design and construction.
With the help of an experienced contractor like Vulcan, you can avoid the common missteps that new dispensaries make, purely due to inexperience. We can help you to navigate your local compliance requirements, create a cohesive design that fits your vision, suggest security measures to help you protect the business, and share our knowledge of the best practices, materials, resources, and more.
Demystify the design and construction process and get your dispensary off the ground faster with Vulcan Construction Group. Contact us today for more information, or start a job request to get the ball rolling!