With a giant wall-sized black-and-white photo mural of Bixby Bridge, polished concrete floors, dark wood paneling and leather furniture, the waiting room at Big Sur Canna+Botanicals looks more like a trendy wine bar or chic art gallery. Several ethereal contemporary artworks by a local artist hang on the walls.
The comparisons end there. At the security check-in, a man neatly dressed in a sports jacket and slacks at a wood-paneled podium checks customers’ medical marijuana cards and identification. From there customers are greeted by receptionists, and finally, are invited to step through a door to the dispensary. The room features a long display case staffed by cannabis consultants.
This is the new face of the cannabis retail business, says co-owner Aram Stoney. Big Sur Canna+Botanicals, situated in the Carmel Rancho Shopping Center, caters to a crowd of mostly baby boomers. It’s the first brick-and-mortar store for Stoney and partner John DeFloria, who have operated mostly as a delivery business since 2014. (Deliveries are on hold as they focus on launching the store.)
It’s also the first cannabis shop to successfully