On a bustling stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard lined by vintage stores and eateries, the MedMen shop looks right at home.
Sunlight streams in through the store’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, salespeople in bright red T-shirts greet shoppers. Merchandise is carefully arranged on sleek wooden tables lined with iPads.
It’s a retail scene reminiscent of an Apple store, but the high-tech gadgets on sale are vape pens.
After years of bullet-proof glass and burglar bars, marijuana shops are starting to get a makeover.
Cannabis entrepreneurs, borrowing from successful retailers such as Apple and Whole Foods, are opening dispensaries with natural light, spacious displays and open-floor plans. With weed now legal for recreational use in California and seven other states, such amenities could attract an anticipated glut of new customers who are less familiar with cannabis and may be put off by the industry’s generally dingy shopping experience.
There is an “upscale revolution in cannabis retailing,” said Troy Dayton, chief executive of Arcview Group, a marijuana research and investment firm. “It now makes sense to invest in your property and make it awesome for the long haul.”