SPARC it up.

This year I will be blogging more about something close to my heart, really good retail – including innovative spaces, interesting and cohesive product, the art of great customer service, eco-friendly and sustainable stalwarts and smart services for a stress-free existence. My first “shopbitch” posting this year on super-eco star Catherine Conway and her retail beacon for living an unpackaged life was one of my most successful yet with over 500 hits so far, which has me jumping for blog joy.

Next up in the “shopbitch” series is an almost apothecary dedicated to none other than marijuana. Yes people we are talking a one-stop pot shop of sorts and by far the most aesthetically pleasing of the 24 licensed dispensaries in San Francisco currently. This stylish medical marijuana dispensary was designed by Sand Studios for SPARC (San Francisco Patient and Resource Centre) a non-profit collective dedicated to providing lab-tested, affordable cannabis and subsidised health services to is members. Located in a former warehouse using simple and inexpensive materials, the store features exposed concrete, eco-certified oak and recycled steel that give a laboratory like order to the space. Eighths come in jars with custom designed labels and live plants are stored green-house style along one wall with the menu and price guide shown hanging on LCD screens – this design pays tribute to the craft in the cultivation of cannabis as both art and science. The glass facade of the store features a design based on the DNA of the marijuana plant  and represents “transparency, legitimacy and a sort of coming out of the closet. It lets people know that we are not afraid of anything, that there’s no shame in it. It’s therapy for a lot of people.” says founder Erich Pearson. Splendour in the grass. 


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