Beverly Hills Pot: Inside Barneys Posh Cannabis Store
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Few among us are in the market for a $950 hand-blown glass bong. Or a pair of $900 Balenciaga high-top sneakers. But if you’re someone who absolutely must have both, I have fantastic news. You’ll find each of these items within twenty feet of each other on the fifth floor of Barneys New York in Beverly Hills.
As cannabis moves beyond its hippie roots and stoner/slacker stereotypes, the retail world has shown a willingness -- and even an eagerness -- to serve its customers’ needs in non-traditional ways. So when Barneys Creative Director Matt Mazzucca and Beboe co-founder Scott Campbell put together a plan to join forces, the idea was far from half-baked.
“Our brand is really about acknowledging cultural shifts and creating dialogues,” Mazzucca says. “There’s a lot of controversy about cannabis, and also a growing acceptance, so we wanted to find a way to tell an elevated story and bring it to life within our doors."
How it came to be
Surprisingly, there wasn’t much resistance in the Barneys boardroom when Mazzucca first shared the idea -- just a bit of head-turning. Mazzucca describes it as “the shock of the new.” And yet it all fits in seamlessly; the product may be novel, but the presentation still screams “Barneys.”
The cannabis store-within-a-store is fittingly called "The High End." It isn’t so much a dispensary as it is a luxury, 300-square foot head shop offering the finest paraphernalia and CBD-infused beauty products. There’s no THC on the premises, but it is for sale. Just place your order, either in-store or online, and they’ll deliver it to you, often in under 30 minutes.
Brand partner Beboe offers a line of pens, candies and elixirs designed for the wellness set, not the wake-and-bakers. As Mazzucca puts it, “We don’t want to market to kids. This is a higher-tier, luxury customer, and we wanted to provide the product that would resonate with that in mind.”
With its sterling silver grinders and $7000 leaf-drop earrings, Barneys may seem like it's out of most people's budget. But you don’t need Maserati money to be a customer. You can find lip balm, body wash and 24K gold rolling papers for not much more than the price of a sandwich.
I don’t know if "The High End" is a sign of where cannabis is going, but it’s definitely a sign of how far it’s come.
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