Keep New Times Free
I Support Local Community Journalism
Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.
Medical marijuana patients might remember the newly rebranded and remodeled Cannabist dispensary in Tempe as SWC Arizona, a subsidiary of New York-based Columbia Care that’s been operating since 2013.
But they might not recognize it. After adult-use recreational sales of marijuana began in January, the company decided to give its dispensaries facelifts, and the Cannabist location on Price Road and Fifth Street has a whole new look that’s part industrial chic (dark wood beam ceilings, exposed ductwork in sleek black), and part nature retreat (the lobby area is a narrow indoor-outdoor setting with trees, bushes, and a giant window into the Cannabist grow room, where the leaves of more than two dozen adolescent plants flutter in breezes from surrounding fans).
“The dispensary has been designed to help us achieve our ultimate mission, which is to just elevate the cannabis experience into a higher experience for everyone,” says Cannabist general manager Isaiah Collins.
Hundreds of people visited Cannabist when it opened to the public over Memorial Day weekend. The location sits on the corner of Price and Fifth, along the frontage road for the 101 freeway, anchoring an industrial office complex. There’s not much shade for the perpetual line of customers outside, but once they’re admitted into the lounge area, it’s a bit cooler, both in terms of temperature and aesthetics, with the aforementioned greenery, plus a blue neon sign that reads “A Higher Experience.”
Like most dispensaries, Cannabist limits the number of customers that can be inside its store at one time, as well as the number of customers who can wait in the