[Part 2] Tips from Dispensary Design Experts with Ashley Picillo

It should come as no surprise that there’s a strong positive correlation between the number of licenses being approved and the increasing competition among dispensary owners. Dispensary owners are quickly learning it’s no longer enough to supply customers with cannabis. Dispensaries investing in the customer experience, from the design of the store to educational resources, are finding themselves ahead of the curve.

The relationship between a store’s design and its subsequent success inspired us to sit down with some of today’s leading cannabis retail designers and consultants to ask them about the importance of impeccable design.

In our final part of this three-part series, we asked Ashley Picillo, Chief Executive Officer of Point Seven Group her thoughts.

(Photo Courtesy of MG Retailer)


Point Seven Group is a global management consulting firm dedicated to the commercial cannabis industry. When it comes to dispensary design, Picillo believes that “reaching people where they are in their own cannabis learning process is very important and an incredibly powerful way to build loyalty.”


What is an often overlooked design element for dispensaries?


Ashley: I think a lot of retailers overlook the importance of self-guided learning. We’re all learning in this space and while many people love the attentiveness of budtending staff, there are absolutely people who would prefer to read about product offerings or anticipated effects independently. This could mean offering a more robust e-learning component, iPads or other electronic in-store devices, or even collateral customers can take home to read privately when they have some time.


In your opinion, is there a common design element that should be avoided? Why?


Ashley: I think dispensaries need to find ways to present products outside of the standard customer-over-the-counter model. If your design or regulatory structure requires this, or if space is an issue, I think retailers benefit from empowering employees to stand with their customers and patients, viewing products with them and explaining to them as they go. While you can still be selling, it creates a more partnership-oriented dynamic between the employee and customer, lending to longer-term customer relationships.


What part of the design process do you like best?

Ashley: I enjoy working with groups who are defining their target customer base. Design should feed into that. Retailers exist at all price points and reflect all kinds of design styles — finding the setup that will work best for your desired customer base is critically important, and we love working with groups at this stage and through the rest of the process.


To learn more about dispensary design and delivering experiences that educate consumers and turn them into loyal customers, check out our recent eBook.

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