Marijuana Business Magazine April 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | April 2020 92 Not by Design By Celene Adams A Michigan dispensary wins an international design award, relies on a ‘human-centric blueprint’ with an indoor cafe BusinessStrategies | Retail W hen Flint, Michigan-based Common Citizen set out to transform a dilapidated former sports bar into a dispensary, it didn’t anticipate becoming the first cannabis retailer to receive a prestigious design award. Yet in December, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), a retail real estate association with 63,000 members in more than 100 countries, awarded Common Citizen its 2019 Gold Award for, among other attributes, “open sightlines” and “minimalist” decor. There’s even a cafe inside the premises. In announcing the award, the ICSC noted the 5,000-square-foot dispensary “features a predominantly black-and-white design palette balanced with warm wood accents and paneling, clean-line furnishings, textured wall treatments and (customized) lighting fixtures.” But landing such kudos was not top of mind for Common Citizen’s lead executive. “We didn’t design with the intent to win anything,” said Mike Elias, co-founder and CEO of Michigan Pure Med, the vertically integrated medical cannabis company that owns Common Citizen. “We just kept the patient in mind.” ‘Human-Centric Blueprint’ Elias is referring to the company’s “human-centric blueprint,” a strategy he said defines everything the company does in the context of the patient/customer. We put the patient “at the center of the entire universe,” he said, describing Common Citizen’s focus on providing needs-based products and services in an environment that prioritizes consumer comfort, education and accessibility. The fixtures at Common Citizen utilize black, white and natural wood. Courtesy Photo