The Citizen by Klutch is raising the bar for Ohio medical cannabis dispensaries with a warm, welcoming interior, drive-thru sales and high-tech shopping tools.
The Citizen by Klutch, Lorain, OH
WEBSITE: citizenbyklutch.com; HOURS: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm; OPENED: January 2023; OPENED FEATURED LOCATION: 2017; DESIGNER: Richardson Design and MPG Architects; EMPLOYEES: 15; AREA: 9,000 sq. feet; TOP BRANDS: Klutch Cannabis (in-house brand), Kiva Confections (also produced by Klutch in Ohio), Josh D (also produced by Klutch in Ohio); ONLINE PRESENCE: 44+ 5-star Google reviews, 1,300+ IG followers
ENTER THE CITIZEN and you’re overwhelmed with how the first of several planned medical cannabis stores by Klutch Cannabis doesn’t feel like a typical dispensary. That’s very much on purpose.
The Citizen by Klutch was built from the ground up with the goal of presenting a sophisticated, dignified, Mad Men-inspired cannabis shopping experience for medical cannabis patients. It’s a pioneering concept for Ohio, where most state-program dispensaries provide patients with a decidedly negative vibe—like congested shopping areas, long wait times and little access to product information.
“The store was designed with patients in mind and with an eye on solving some long-standing issues with the patient experience in Ohio,” says Klutch Cannabis founder and CEO Adam Thomarios.
Elegance Meets Information
The Citizen owes its sophisticated flair to the creative skills of Cleveland, OH-based Richardson Design and MPG Architects of Akron, OH. The comfortable, oversized lobby with leather seating and wood-and-brick finished walls leads to an exansive retail floor with interactive kiosks from dispensary software platform provider The Peak Beyond. POS systems can also be found in the front lobby.
Klutch also commissioned Cleveland, OH-based Old Soul Sign Company to hand-paint two gold-leafed company logos on The Citizen’s brick and mirrored walls.
Customers serving themselves—budtender help is also available at all times—can make informed buying decisions by using the RFID-tagged packaging and accessory stations. Patients can review detailed product information and interact with specific items placed on the kiosk casework. Carts can be built out digitally before a purchase is made.
“Up until now, the retail experience in Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries suffered from several overarching patient complaints. Lobbies and sales floors were undersized and there were often not enough POS stations to service the number of patients frequenting dispensaries,” Thomarios says.
The strategy of offering something better is paying off. Customers have been pouring through the doors of The Citizen since its January opening. And the Lorain, OH location is just the start—Klutch is planning a store in Canton, OH next and then hopes to open more Citizen shops elsewhere throughout the state.
The Story Behind the Store
Thomarios founded Klutch Cannabis in 2020. Plans for The Citizen were hatched in 2022. Klutch began as a 100 percent Ohio-owned and operated cultivation and processing facility in April 2020. The company quickly made a name for itself as one of the Midwest’s premier cannabis producers, despite starting in Ohio’s extremely restrictive medical market. Klutch holds Ohio-exclusive partnerships with Josh D and Kiva Confections. The company’s 82,000-sq. ft. facility in Akron includes 30,000 sq. ft. of indoor cultivation space.
Klutch put together a whopping 73 applications on 73 individual pieces of property to secure a dispensary license. “The process was extremely time consuming but critical for the goals of the company,” Thomarios says.
Once they got the license, the team really got to work.
“Creating an amazing consumer experience was our top priority. We prioritize giving people a reason to come to the dispensary and embody a sense of community. Using innovation, design aesthetics and assembling a stellar staff—we nailed it,” says Kally Williamson, general manager of The Citizen by Klutch.
Five Cool Things About The Citizen by Klutch
1. INTERIOR DESIGN. The Citizen rocks a cigar lounge vibe leading to a speakeasy-like sales floor via a hidden door that blends with the lobby’s frosted mirror wall.
2. DRIVE-THRU SERVICE. Modeled after traditional pharmacies, the drive-thru window makes it easy for patients to get medicine without getting out of their cars.
3. THE SPLIT FLAP. Prominent in the lobby, a vintage-esque split-flap sign by Philly-based Oat Foundry uses analog tech and remote control to display messages.
4. KLUTCH KIOSKS. No other medical cannabis dispensary in the area has an interactive kiosk system like the one provided to The Citizen by The Peak Beyond.
5. WEB SHOPPING. A Dutchie Plus user interface gives online shoppers access to a fully customized product menu sans the dated, stodgy iframe element.