As support for the legalisation of marijuana grows, beyond the eight U.S. States, and other countries where it has been legalised; so too do the efforts to transform cannabis, and the accessories associated with it, into high-end products.
With recent research reporting that 84% of cannabis consumers in the U.S. are in full-time employment, and 65% have a household income of $75,000 or more, this doesn't come as a surprise.
So to take advantage of the 'green-rush', savvy retail start-ups are getting in on the act. But unlike notorious back street 'head-shops', these stores are putting premiumization, experience and design at the forefront of weed-tail.
Here are three of our favourites.
Serra are one of the most interesting retailers shaping the future of the high-end cannabis industry.
Like many other cannabis retailers, Serra are restricted on shipping their products through e-commerce channels. But rather than see this as a disadvantage, Serra have turned this into an advantage by putting experience at the heart of their store, demonstrating they are much more than a transactional experience.
Decoding flavours, sampling edibles, product education, sensory experiences, play, technology, third spaces & gifting all play a part in this unique weed-tail experience.
With three stand-out sites across Portland, Serra’s Marketing Director, Cambria Benson, set out to create spaces where customers felt comfortable shopping for cannabis - without any sense of wrongdoing.
From the greenhouse displays to the origami-wrapped chopsticks used for measuring buds to the La Marzocco espresso machine, Serra feels more like walking into an Anthropologie store than a ‘head shop’.
As the choice of being a cannabis consumer is normalised, we’re starting to see the design of accessories & lifestyle elements also catch-up.
So, less UV blown-glass bongs & Bob Marley paraphernalia and more objects that integrate with a 'well-designed' weed lifestyle.
Tetra, is a tightly curated online store at the forefront of this change, with accessories that ‘elevate the weed smoking experience’.
Launched by three female design journalists, the store retails both contemporary and vintage pieces – some created by notable designers, others have been custom-made for the site.
Rendered in luxurious materials like marble, gold, brass, and ceramic, it’s clear that these accoutrements are made to be proudly displayed around the home, rather than hidden under your bed.
Tokyo Smoke fuse retail and third space to elevate the experience, lifestyle and culture around cannabis.
With locations in Toronto, Seattle & a pop up in Venice Beach, Tokyo Smoke dub themselves as a ‘lifestyle collective for cannabis, coffee & culture’.
Founded by former Google employee Alan Gertner & his father, Tokyo Smoke aim to provide experiences that reflect the evolving perception of marijuana - from selling custom roast coffees, food, accessories and high-design homeware, the pair have created a lifestyle space that people want to hang out in.
When regulations catch up with their ambition, they will also sell four strains of their ‘house marijuana’ – Go, Relax, Relief & Balance.
SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge then get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.