The world’s most visually appealing store just so happens to sell cannabis. No, really — Megan Stone of The High Road Design Studio won trade magazine Visual Merchandising and Store Design’s 23rd annual International Visual Competition for her design of Level Up, a cannabis dispensary in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Level Up caters to an affluent clientele, so Stone set her sights on a storefront that creates an elite experience for patients. Scottsdale has always been associated with a luxurious lifestyle, and Stone’s inspiration here was more European sports car than American muscle car: Using deep, dark, tonal grays and dusty greens contrasted with chrome, polished marble and accented with vintage airport nostalgia, Stone creates a high-end experience without alienating rural customers.
The glass-ensconced reception area at Level Up is cozy and ornate, with a large, white marble-topped desk set against chrome-accented granite paneling and a stacked stone accent wall. Window paneling provides ample natural light, while LEDs are used to illuminate the desk and dispensary name mounted on the wall behind.
The lamps are fashioned from refashioned tripods, giving the space a warm but upscale feel. After check-in, patients enter through frosted glass doors into the waiting area, where they find plush black leather seating, plenty of cannabis-focused reading material and monitors displaying daily specials, educational programming and even cannabis-infused recipe videos.
Once a patient is called into the retail area they’re greeted by a budtender at one of five identical pods: Each pod has two stations where patients are served “deli style,” meaning flower is weighed out in person, not pre-packaged. There are anywhere from 40 to 50 strains — at least a dozen of which are cultivated in-house — and they all come stored in humidity-controlled CVault containers to ensure freshness. Level Up also offers an array of edibles, topicals and concentrates, which fill the glass displays below, as well as the back wall area between the stations.
In Arizona dispensaries are allowed to be vertically integrated, and so Level Up produces K.I.N.D Concentrates, which powers the Arizona editions of Keef Cola and Auntie Dolores: As someone who spent the last nine years living in San Francisco, I was thrilled when I saw my favorite Auntie Dolores chili lime peanuts on the shelves in front of me.
The flowers at Level Up range from top tier, to middle tier, to feature tier, all at a price point that’s fair for the area. I ogled over the Kings Lemon — a top tier hybrid strain that filled my nose with pine and lemon scents. The Arnold Palmer (a middle tier hybrid strain of Redwood x Lemon Skunk) filled the CVault with dense little nugs covered in bright orange hairs.
Level Up has certainly been making a name for itself in Scottsdale and the Phoenix metro area since opening its doors in 2016. Patients receive first time specials and loyalty cards that can include assistance with yearly medical cannabis card fees. Level Up has also recently partnered with Supurb, an online delivery service, to help reach more patients.
Overall, the space is welcoming and elegant. The young, hip staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and the wide selection of infused products and vape options make this shop a great place for first time users looking for an elevated experience.
Level Up Scottsdale
14980 N 78th Way #204
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Originally published in Issue 28 of Cannabis Now. LEARN MORE
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