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Checking Out: Megan Stone

As owner of The High Road Design Studio, this interior designer is taking the path less traveled, injecting life into once-contentious spaces that are on the cusp of conventional




How did you begin designing medical marijuana dispensaries?
While I was earning my interior design degree in Orange County, Calif., I managed an upscale dispensary.  The owner let me do a little facelift on our shop and it was amazing how big an impact simple changes like new paint, wood floors, updated display cases and a custom cabinet had on our business.  In 2012, when Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for adult use, I was four months away from completing my degree and realized that designing these unique spaces could be a legitimate career.

What are some specifics you have to keep in mind when designing a dispensary as opposed to a typical store?
Each market is different, but dispensary design has to consider security, product handling and display, restricted-access areas, heavy traffic flow, acoustics and customer education and consultation.  I strive to design the shops to be efficient and profitable, and as places where customers and patients feel like they’re doing something normal – not like they’re doing something wrong or illegal.

How do you hope your session impacts attendees at IRDC 2014?
My goal is to elevate the perceptions of the cannabis industry through professional interior design. If I can help other professionals realize its importance  and potential for being the next big retail niche in our country,  I will leave Miami feeling like I’ve accomplished my goal.

Finish this statement: If I only knew then what I know now…
I would have never designed a space without having it professionally photographed.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Stop eating gluten and dairy!  My health improved in so many ways when I cut those foods out of my diet.

And the worst?
Stop eating gluten and dairy!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to eat in this country when you can’t have either of those things?


What inspired you to choose interior design as a career?
Palm Springs, Calif. I lived there for two years in my early twenties, and its community and plethora of amazing architecture and design inspired me. Seeing how innovative and forward-thinking the midcentury architects and designers were, and how their designs are still relevant and sought-after inspired me to create lasting impressions through design that have an emotional impact on those who experience them. If you can [create] something that people in 50 years want to restore and preserve, that’s worth striving for.

Title Case
Stone took to the Internet after marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado became a reality: “I hunted around for someone – anyone – who was already specializing in this [interior design] niche. To my fortunate surprise, the title of premier dispensary interior designer was up for grabs. So, I grabbed.”


Click here to read more about the dispensary The High Road Design Studio designed, covered in VMSD's September issue.



MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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