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Miami Style & Dispensary Retail Design; A mashup made in heaven

Magic City Cannabis, Miami Dispensary, Retail Dispensary Design, Florida Cannabis

This little story is so long overdue that I’m a little bit embarrassed. So a few years ago we were approached by an amazing family- run company with medical dispensaries in both Colorado and Oklahoma. They were looking to open the OK location quickly. Pretty standard, but here’s that beautiful twist- the family is originally from the Miami area with strong roots in South Florida and all the beauty, art music and culture that goes with it. They wanted to create (or recreate?) that vibe in Oklahoma which happens to be the land of open fields, casinos and cowboys. Complete opposite of South Beach. And Colorado? Mountains and outdoor sports, a different kind of vibe completely.

So let’s talk about how we take the very best of Miami style, Art Deco but modernized, the colors, shapes and feel and dig into the reason that it fits so well with their brand.

The first step of Designing Magic City cannabis was really editing not only the color palette but the stereotypical s*** that can sometimes go with Florida Design. The beach vibe, flamingos, flip-flops, etc. None of that was going into the dispensary. Their beautiful logo work and brand voice color palette is black, white, fuchsia and turquoise. Their customer wants that lux feel and experience. We achieved a high-end look through material selections and custom art. White Carrera marble is used in touches throughout the space. Brushed gold accents highlight rich walnut woods. And the gold logo embedded into the terrazzo floor- amazing!

One of my favorite things about Art Deco/Miami Style design is the lighting. Lighting is basically jewelry for the space. It finishes the design, makes it look complete and ties everything together. I selected these wild ‘hell yes’ light fixtures that are big and gold and total showstoppers. (think gorgeous earrings that complete the look.) They tie together the gold accents that are found on the faces of the casework as well as leg finish on some of the side tables and the waiting area. Even the gallon size bud jars have gold lids.

We could not ignore pastels. The pastel rainbow is an integral part of South Florida. Have you ever seen the Miami Sunset?

I created a backdrop for the merchandise case in an abstract pastel art application. It’s really subtle but fantastic. The pitch black wall behind the cash wrap accentuates the lit Magic City logo and draws the customer through the space. Shoppers meander around the impulse tables and walnut vision tables, leading them directly to the order pickup and POS terminals. Like many other dispensaries, Magic City has such a distinctive voice. You can’t be there and not know where exactly you are. Transported to Miami Beach whenever you feel like it, whether you’re in Colorado or Oklahoma. My clients really wanted to have a skyline of Key Biscayne/Miami. Placement was tricky with so many other focal elements happening in the main dispensary. The best place for us to implement this for the biggest impact ended up in the waiting room above the rich leather sofa. I love that it is a night sky, showing the buildings and progress of the community my clients are from. You can almost hear the music and feel the humid breeze.

This was risky. And could have gone horribly wrong.

Many designers might have advised them against such a themed design. It definitely is a challenge to maintain the atmosphere without going overboard. Restraining just enough so that the design isn’t overpowering the product BUT putting enough into the space that it becomes undeniably a destination dispensary.

This wasn’t a “theme dispensary”. It’s my client’s home and where their dream began. Every dispensary has a who and a why behind it. I feel so strongly that the design of the space should speak to that ‘who and why’. Tell the story through restrained, edited design, amazing layouts gorgeous merchandising and packaging and exceptional customer experience. The reason that Magic City sets itself apart from all the other dispensaries in Oklahoma (believe me there are hundreds) is because they check all of those boxes from first impression to post sale.