Trulieve opened its first store in 2016. Since then, the company has grown from six employees to more than 1,200. According to Chief Executive Officer Kim Rivers, the dispensary chain—which serves 50 percent of Florida’s medical cannabis patients—sees more than 2,000 new patients each week.
“We focused on building a foundation to scale the business over the long term,” said Rivers. “We have made significant progress on Trulieve’s core mission to create the preferred customer-centric brand in cannabis.”
From the beginning, the company adopted an aesthetic that could be replicated as the corporate office pursued an ambitious plan to expand across Florida. The design had to work in a variety of environments and sizes. Because creating a scalable, brand-centric standards package represented a challenge, Rivers and her team turned to The High Road Design Studio. While Trulieve had their branding, tagline “Where Science Meets Nature” and color scheme in place—lime green, grays—the specifics had yet to be defined.
First, The High Road complemented the color scheme with selected finishes and furnishings that impart a soft, warm feel. “The items that we selected were chairs with wood frames, upholstered cushions and sofas, and glass pendants for that touch of residential comfort…a resi-mercial feel,” said founder Megan Stone.
She chose jewel tones and neutrals—purple, cream, orange, and yellow—along with soft materials, textures, and natural elements to add depth, create visual interest, and encourage visitors to see the brand as a vibrant experience. Glass pendant lights hanging from cream-colored ceilings plus chairs and sofas with wood frames and upholstered cushions provide clean lines and residential appeal. “Just like we intended to do, the additions helped to make patients feel comfortable and welcome to discuss medical cannabis,” said Victoria Walker, Trulieve’s director of marketing.
Stone also designed signature elements representative of the dispensaries’ ethos. Photos of the plant, combined with bud images, create what she calls “cannabis kaleidoscopes”—visual interpretations of Trulieve’s seed-to-sale process that produces proprietary products at the company’s nearby 55,000-square-foot facility. “We then used these patterns to create custom wallpaper, brand posters, and wall graphics,” she said. “Each application adds a unique artistic touch to any given space.”
Stone designed everything to work as a “kit” from which Trulieve’s owners could combine millwork, materials, finishes, and signature elements to give each dispensary its own unique appearance while maintaining brand cohesiveness. Modular display cases and checkout stations evoke the corporate spirit and attitude while adapting to locations that vary in size and floorplan. Artwork is different in each shop but presents the same message wherever it is used.
Deploying the design across all dispensaries proved to be a relatively seamless process except in one area: floors. Attaining both good looks and durability was something of a challenge. The team tried a number of materials and finishes before settling on polished concrete for lobbies and showroom floors with white oak wood planks in a natural, matte finish for trim on desks, cashier stations and walls.
“The design was meant to help develop a personalized experience that supports a deeper connection to this plant-based therapy and creates engaging moments that foster a greater understanding of the plant,” Stone said. “It was about creating a design that is approachable and engaging, consistent and replicable, as well as big, bold, and beautiful.”
Everything ties to the company’s core mission. “Our goal is to make education a primary focus,” Walker said. “We have a lot of products to offer, so we use our shelving and counter space to display demos. Most patients are new to medical cannabis, so we take the time to explain all delivery methods and product types.
“Each store build out was unique, but in every community we put a major focus on education and being good partners and neighbors,” she added. “That has led to great relationships with cities and towns throughout Florida. Recently, a city was voting on allowing dispensaries, and they invited a Trulieve representative to speak and help educate the city council members. They unanimously passed the vote.”