Creating a High Experience for the Modern Cannabis User


Consumers are constantly on the hunt for new experiences. Whether it be in store or online, they have been spoiled with new and exciting experiences — leaving retailers scrambling to keep up or create something even better. Columbia Care decided to take user experiences to a whole new level and unveiled an advanced remodel of its retail brand called Cannabist

A Cultural Hub for Cannabis Users

A first-of-its-kind dispensary, Cannabist is designed to create a higher experience for the modern cannabis user, whether they be an adult-use or medical customer. More than a dispensary, Cannabist serves as a cultural hub that brings together seasoned and novice users, with the most well-trained experts in the industry, to create an experience that is unmatched by anything in the market. 

“Cannabist exists as a branded experience from a retail point of view and a commitment to curation, not to product brands,” Jesse Channon, Chief Growth Officer at Columbia Care, said. “We are live and operating across the country in multiple locations, including Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Illinois. We wanted to design an experience that was beautiful, comfortable, and high-end feeling to give a level of confidence in the feel of care and curation where consumers can buy products.” 

Higher Standards for Seamless Shopping

Upon entering, customers will immediately notice a refined design that elevates the shopping experience into one that is bespoke, sophisticated, and chic. The Cannabist retail experience is centered on making shopping for cannabis as simple and approachable as possible, accommodating the vast range of experience levels patients and customers may have when they walk through the doors. Merchandising set-ups and store layouts have been organized to help customers move through the space with intent and become more comfortable in the process. Additionally, the space is designed to encourage employees and customers to engage in conversations that enhance the shopping experience, whether through product recommendations or general education. 

Beyond the in-store experience, technology serves as a bridge across the retail ecosystem that enables a seamless shopping experience from anywhere. Cannabist locations continue to leverage existing solutions, such as Virtual.Care, the personal shopping platform, and have a proprietary web-based application to help customers on their product discovery journey. Since Columbia Care cultivates and manufactures cannabis, all of these brands are offered in their Cannabist retail storefronts, including Seed & Strain, one of the company’s best-sellers, Classix, Triple Seven, Amber, and Press. While flower is their main product, consumers can also purchase pre-rolls, concentrates, and tablets. 

Put Customers Above All Else

“If you put customers at the center of everything you do, it will be hard to make a bad choice,” Channon advises retailers who are just starting out. “Our customer base is as many industries have seen — they are very passionate and big into authenticity, so if you are starting a brand, do not be afraid to be yourself. Craft your products and your promise between you and your customers and be authentic to the things that matter to you. It will not resonate with everyone, but it will resonate with those who matter.”