Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 130


REPORT: CANNABIS RETAILERS

new industry. Everyone's learning on the fly."
Similar though more restrained changes
have begun to emerge on the dispensary
side. In early 2016, for example, the New Yorkbased healthcare company Columbia Care
LLC opened its flagship medical marijuana
dispensary in Manhattan's Union Square
neighborhood.
The concept, created by New York-based
design firm RPG, is modern but with softer
lighting and a warmer atmosphere than that
of a typically stark institutional design. A patient waiting area includes colorful mid-century style furniture and features large-format
photographs that showcase the beneficial
properties of various cannabis plants. Inside,
wood and neutral finishes complement a
large table in the central meeting area and a
hallway leading to private consultation rooms.
"The clean, modern design helps remove
the stigma that's sometimes apparent in dispensaries that operate in less stringent markets," says Bruce Teitelbaum, CEO of RPG. "Our
mandate was to support compassionate care.
We created a welcoming, legitimate and professional environment in which the patient
feels comfortable and where those who run
the facility can speak from a position of authority."

Strict Protocols
Despite an increasingly favorable legal landscape, the sale of marijuana in the U.S. remains a highly regulated business. The main
distinction between medical and recreational
sales is that the former are taxed at a lower rate, which allows dispensaries to charge
less for their products. All cannabis operators
130

y SHOPPER MARKETING APRIL 2016

must follow strict protocols (see sidebar for a
checklist). For example, dispensaries require
visitors to make an appointment and carry
a medical ID card to enter the facility, while
recreational stores must obtain a customer's
proof of legal age. For both, security cameras
are required in multiple locations throughout
the store.
In New York, where medical marijuana was
legalized under the Compassionate Care Act
of 2014, city inspectors at the Department of

Health closely monitor dispensaries. "When
you operate a medical marijuana dispensary,
you also have to run the cultivation, which
means you have to go from seed to sale," says
Teitelbaum. "There are strict rules with regard
to purity to ensure the end product is meeting all standards."
Colorado's licensing and regulatory procedures are established by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), a governing body



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - April 2016

Contents
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - Intro
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 1
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 2
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 3
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - Contents
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 5
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 6
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 7
Shopper Marketing - April 2016 - 8
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