The accolades keep coming for cannabis retail designer Megan Stone of The High Road Design Studio. The young entrepreneur is lighting up the billion-dollar cannabis industry by creating award-winning dispensary environments catering to the modern consumer. Recently, Stone was announced as one of the Top 40 Under 40 by design:retail magazine for her luxury dispensary designs. She was selected from more than 140 nominees for the award, one of three major awards recognizing the Tempe, Arizona-based retail designer in 2016. Winners for the design:retail magazine award were honored in New York City in May.
“I design the way I do because, for many people, cannabis has been a miraculous plant,” says Stone, owner and founder of The High Road Design Studio. “Buying it should be an experience that reflects that.”
With the cannabis market, forecasted by the ArcView Group to reach $6.7 billion in sales this year, thoughtful design and branding are becoming more essential to success. Stone’s designs transcend long-standing clichés of tie-dye tapestries and peace sign motifs. Along with the Top 40 Under 40 Award, Stone was named a finalist for the A.R.E. Design Awards competition. She was also named Technical Professional Marketer of the Year by SMPS (Society for Marketing Professional Services) Arizona.
Stone, whose firm specializes in dispensary design, has created environments and identities for marijuana businesses in eleven states. From California to New Hampshire, her dispensary designs have garnered attention for their streamlined, modern interiors, inviting layouts, and upscale facades. Her most recent work for The Healing Center in San Diego involved remodeling a former office suite. Stone converted the 450-sq.-ft. space into a chic, polished retail environment. Luxe fixtures, textural suede accents, and streamlined glass shelving create a professional ambiance, while original artwork adds a personal touch.
At Park Range Recreationals in CO, Stone met similar space challenges in the 500-sq.-ft. project. Stone instilled a sense of openness by highlighting the 14-ft. ceilings with a custom, orange plaid design that playfully pays tribute to the area’s hunting and outdoor scene. She also further perpetuated this airiness, with concealed door detailing and seamless, wood-cladded paneling.
At TruMed in Phoenix, Stone created an award-winning highly specialized concentrates bar to stylishly showcase an expanded line of cannabis products and accessories for patients. The Retail Environments Insights Center featured the project here. Within weeks of its completion, TruMed recouped on their investment in the custom concentrates bar proving that design is a powerful tool when executed correctly.
Currently, Stone is working on an expansive 3,600-sq.-ft. dispensary in Scottsdale, AZ, set for completion in fall 2016, as well as a multi-location retail brand concept for an East Coast-based medical dispensary license holder.