The cannabis industry has created a new market for architects and designers. The possibility of designing dispensaries, grow facilities, and even cannabis labs is a new frontier that has barely been explored.
After helping a former client with a residential cannabis project, MerJ Architecture co-founder Nicole Delmage was intrigued.
“I became more and more excited about the potential of the industry and I pursued it after this experience,” said Delmage. “When we first entered the industry, we were also very excited that this is a new opportunity because it is a new type of building.
That’s what we mainly focus on is good business planning through architecture for efficiency. –Nicole Delmage, co-founder and director of MerJ Architecture
Well-designed spaces are carefully designed with the user in mind. In the cannabis industry, this idea is very widespread.
“I think one of the most important parts of our job is to create a really awesome workflow that makes installations very efficient,” said Delmage. “That’s what we mainly focus on is good business planning through efficient architecture. “
Have you noticed the different sections of a dispensary? There is usually an entrance where a budtender checks your ID, then you can go to a waiting room and then enter the weed room itself. There is a flow throughout the operation.
This flow is a form of Orientation and allows the user to move around a space without much thought or effort. For example, a medical cannabis patient would like to easily move around a dispensary to buy their medication and easily find their way. The way lines, cases and outlets are labeled are important aspects of direction in the cannabis industry.
“We realized very early on, when we had a very steep learning curve for our first project, that our clients really needed experienced support,” said Delmage. “We are therefore committed to becoming experts in the various fields of cannabis architecture. “
MerJ is a cannabis-centric architectural firm founded by Delmage and Satto Rugg. They work on projects all over Colorado and have even worked in New Mexico and Iowa. In addition to design services, MerJ provides a full advisory process to help cannabis companies with logistics like zoning and licensing.
Delmage and his team tackle unique projects, such as the design of extraction and culture facilities, laboratories and dispensaries.
“It’s a whole new opportunity because you put people, manufacturing and factories all in one environment,” Delmage said. “It was really exciting because I love the opportunity to learn new things.”