From PSFK's latest report, here's how today's cannabis leaders are bringing high-level brick and mortar to their industry with interactive playgrounds and immersive experiences

In 2019, brick and mortar remains a crucial player in a consumer market that places high value on experience. For the newly introduced cannabis industry, this has posed a bit of a stumbling block: Regulations require the plant to be sold behind the counter. Innovative retailers are experimenting with alternative options, building immersive, multisensory experiences where customers can interact with cannabis in unexpected ways.

The following three examples showcase how cannabis retailers can optimize the brick-and-mortar customer journey for their industry,  leveraging high-touch and high-design to create an environment where consumers can interact with cannabis in an exciting, informative way:

Prairie Records
Prairie Records is a musically inclined cannabis retail store that offers consumers a unique shopping experience. While the locations are meant to look like a record store, the shelves and racks are actually stocked with covers that have information about cannabis and the strains Prairie Records carries. Where one might expect to find track listings and album credits, customers instead find information about the product, its format, consumption methods, as well as THC and CBD levels. Once they’ve picked something out, customers can bring the record cover to the check out counter, where they will be given their chosen cannabis products (and even the record cover).

Cannabis Now
The popular media outlet opened a large Beverly Hills physical location, focused on allowing customers to interact and learn at their own pace and comfort level. It will be both a curated retail shop and an educational experience, focusing on a rotating roster of wellness brands that will operate store-in-store popups to educate consumers about the benefits of their brands and products. Customers can sample terpenes, the essential oils of the cannabis plant, on the True Terpene wall, a permanent installation that allows people to physically smell different terpene profiles as they are being educated on them.

Planet13 Las Vegas
Planet13 is the world’s largest cannabis dispensary located in Las Vegas that is simultaneously an entertainment complex, where customers can do things like interactive laser graffiti. Beyond selling marijuana products, the attached distillery offers interactive and visual experiences for visitors, like synchronized 3D projections on the lobby walls and walkways lit with sensory activated LED lights, so a trail of colored lights follows guests as they walk.

“For the emerging cannabis industry, the timing of this retail shift is fortuitous. In most North American regions, cannabis cannot legally be purchased online, but cannabis retailers have the opportunity to create experiential retail from the start, instead of trying to retrofit their business models,” says Jeffrey Hill, founder and CEO of Hill-3 Investments and founder of several businesses in the cannabis/CBD space in the U.S. and internationally. For a deep dive into the many ways in which today’s top brands and startups alike are creating innovative new opportunities for consumers to interact with and purchase cannabis, download PSFK’s Infusing Cannabis & CBD Into The New Brand Experience report, out now.


Lead image: stock photos from Artie Medvedev/Shutterstock

In 2019, brick and mortar remains a crucial player in a consumer market that places high value on experience. For the newly introduced cannabis industry, this has posed a bit of a stumbling block: Regulations require the plant to be sold behind the counter. Innovative retailers are experimenting with alternative options, building immersive, multisensory experiences where customers can interact with cannabis in unexpected ways.

The following three examples showcase how cannabis retailers can optimize the brick-and-mortar customer journey for their industry,  leveraging high-touch and high-design to create an environment where consumers can interact with cannabis in an exciting, informative way: