NYC Fashion Designer Enters The Retail Cannabis Industry
A New York fashion designer is building a dispensary and curating a product line inspired by the Berkshires, old Vienna and the plant itself.
From marijuana leaf socks to the runways of New York City, weed has been fashion’s muse for some time. As cannabis dispensaries outgrow their grey market roots and come to resemble Apple stores, it only makes sense for design trendsetters to venture into legal weed, too. And New York fashion designer Adam Lippes is doing just that. Highminded, a high-end dispensary somewhere between an old European apothecary and a concept store, is coming to the Berkshires.
Legal Weed Comes (Close) To New York
The Berkshires is three hours from Manhattan. This country retreat is a favorite amongst Manhattanites and New Englanders alike, including creatives like Adam Lippes and his partner, Alexander Farnsworth. Lippes is best known for his high-end womenswear, as seen on celebrities like Glenn Close, Mandy Moore and Gwyneth Paltrow. Farnsworth runs a social media marketing company.
Adam Lippes has had a second home in the Berkshires for fifteen years. Retreating from the city, the couple lives in a converted farmhouse and barn that once graced the pages of Vogue. Now that weed is legal in Massachusetts, they have another reason to visit the Berkshires. According to the Berkshire Eagle, Lippes is one of only three business owners to receive a retail cannabis business license in Great Barrington. Though Massachusetts legalized weed in 2016, they only started giving licenses out in late June.
A High-End Dispensary and Boutique
Co-founder Alexander Farnsworth explained that their foray into the retail cannabis industry goes beyond smoking. “The idea is that the first-time cannabis consumer would be able to come in and be educated in such a way that feels upscale and personable,” he told Green Rush Daily. Consequently, they’re transforming what can be an overwhelming first-time dispensary visit into something educational and approachable.
Highminded will offer flower, concentrates, vape pens and edibles designed to promote sleep, reduce anxiety and other unique benefits. Not only do Lippes and Farnsworth have an eye for design, but they’ve announced that they’re also working with Brayden, Alexander’s brother who has a background in the cannabis industry. Brayden will lead product development and regulatory adherence as Highminded determines its cannabis selection and develops its own strains.
Furthermore, they’re curating a cannabis experience that doesn’t necessarily involve buying weed. Highminded will also sell weed clothing and accessories. These will include pieces from Adam Lippes’ own line as well as unique smoking accessories from places like Morocco and Japan. “You’re able to come in and find objects that would fit into your home, or your accessories or your handbag that feel on brand with everything else you may already have,” added Farnsworth. This could mean quartz pipes, vintage ashtrays, smoking sets from Japan and silver cigarette-joint cases.
A 19th Century Church Reimagined as a Dispensary
Highminded will embody its founders’ background in fashion and design. First of all, this high-end dispensary, located on Main Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is really a Methodist Church dating back t0 1845. The location is currently undergoing renovations inspired by an old Viennese apothecary with a modern twist, partially due to strict dispensary design regulations.
Additionally, everything from the space to the products is designed to convey the relaxing ethos of the Berkshires. “The brand for me its really about those beautiful, special moments of life,” explained Farnsworth. “I think marijuana can help us to focus on the moment. Think hiking in the Berkshire’s.”
Highminded will open in early 2019.