Dan Einzig tokes a look at MedMen, Venice

Dan Einzig tokes a look at MedMen, Venice

The line was out of the door on a sunny, but cool Sunday afternoon in Venice on the main thoroughfare of Lincoln Blvd. MedMen is one of the new breed of licensed Cannabis shops springing up all over California. So, as a hospitality/F&B design professional, it was my duty to check it out...

Some I’ve seen look like Apple stores with plate glass windows and clean modern interiors. This one however is just a rather ominous looking door in a windowless wall.

I’m guessing it’s to transform customers away from the 6-lane highway outside, but either way it has done nothing to scare away customers as the 1000 ft2 store was at capacity with almost equal ratio of staff to customers. I counted 16 team players in their trademark red t-shirts.

Customer service is exceptional - friendly informed and totally non-judgemental, of course. As a first-time shopper (honest), they were keen to explain everything to me in an easy manner.

In the centre of the room are two long tables with 6-8 iPads mounted down the centre displaying information about each of the cannabis vaping oils and dried plant products displayed under glass along the edge of the tables.

Lining the left wall are shelves with disposable vape products and on the right wall are the edibles and a drinks fridge.

Customers ‘check in’ with their ID at the entrance and are then free to browse and ask questions from the legion of employees or ‘Budtenders’ as they are known.

The modern clean interior design is a little generic, but well done and if it wasn’t for the hordes of customers and the loud volume of hubbub they create, it would be a calm uncluttered design.

At the back is the payment counter where you are asked at least three times if you want anything else and offered the opportunity to pay a tip either in a jar or on the pos.

behind the bar height counter is a window through to a store room where the weed is kept in stainless steel pots perfectly aligned in neat rows.

Servers on the shop floor radio to store people to bring out customers’ orders to the pay counter.
The smell of weed is in the air of course and samples are available to sniff through special display cases with a sniff button.

All in all, an unpleasant experience because it was so crowded, but other than that, it would be very agreeable at quieter times (the first half of the week).

The most striking observation, however, is the incredible popularity of the product. These guys are printing money and you get the feeling that if there were another store as close by as gas stations are to one another, then that one would be full too! It’s the dawn of a new era and the dawn of a new market.

Dan Einzig is CEO of Mystery Inc. Looking for hospitality design inspiration? Contact us here.

Photo: LA Guestlist.