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With Its Flagship Storefront Open, New Standard Looks To Define High-End Cannabis Retail

September 18, 2020 7:59 am
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New Standard’s flagship cannabis provisioning center in Hazel Park, Michigan opened as one of the first provisioning centers within the state’s recreational and adult use cannabis market. Since launching operations in early spring, New Standard aimed to create a unique cannabis experience for its customers and those who may be new to recreational cannabis.

The cannabis startup has operated in its first six months in spite of opening during Michigan’s COVID-19 state shutdown. In addition to offering curbside pick-up, the New Standard Hazel Park location became one of the first dispensaries in Metro Detroit to offer recreational use delivery. As retail businesses have had the opportunity to re-open, the shop has begun safely welcoming customers to its sleek new storefront while implementing industry-leading safety protocols.

“Mainstream cannabis usage has evolved into a curated event enjoyed by a diverse group of individuals with products for every occasion,” said New Standard Co-founder and CEO Howard Luckoff in a recent interview with Forbes. “We saw a need for a high-end (pun intended!) dispensary that catered to every cannabis user; the connoisseur and the newcomer can stand side-by-side and comfortably co-exist to experience a wide cross-selection of New Standard products. By the end of 2020, we expect to have eight additional New Standards open across Michigan.”

Along with its own products and strains, the center also boasts a wide selection of local and national brands such as True North Collective, Cresco Labs Inc. (OTC:CRLBF) and Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTC:CURLF). With a leadership team based in Metro Detroit, the dispensary has a strong commitment to working with other Michigan businesses, including close partnerships with Highlife Farms and Dutchie.

New Standard will be the only authorized retailer in Michigan to carry Heir Water Pipes (bongs) alongside a curated selection smart, unique accessories for everyone from beginners to connoisseurs.

Planting Seeds

New Standard opened its 3,100-square-foot provisioning center on April 6, 2020, establishing its commitment to providing high-quality, curated products while also ensuring the safety and well-being of its customers and community in the midst of a global health crisis with industry-leading safety and sanitation protocols. Customer safety remains at the forefront of New Standards’ commitment to the cannabis experience.

“New Standard sees healthy plants, healthy people and a healthy planet all as vital and interconnected,” said James Fisher, co-founder and VP of Cultivation for New Standard. “Our farm, where we cultivate thousands of pounds of cannabis annually, is partially inspired by the farm-to-table food movement, which requires more work to be done by a larger number of people using more natural processes. At the New Standard Farm, we strive to grow cannabis in its most natural state without hidden or unnatural treatments so we lean into oils, enzymes and insect management to achieve cleaner cannabis.”

Establishing Roots

In addition to its dedication to safely catering to its broad array of customers, New Standard hopes to forge a commitment to the community by establishing philanthropic programs in each community in which it does business. New Standard increased its community investment to Hazel Park during COVID-19 by donating a portion of all of its proceeds during the state’s stay-at-home mandate to local retail businesses forced to close during the pandemic. 

“Cannabis was deemed an essential business in Michigan and we felt it important to open the first of many planned dispensaries during that global health crisis,” said Luckoff. “We felt strongly that we could provide a unique experience to the community while creating more than 36 jobs in Michigan at a time when the state was experiencing unprecedented unemployment. In May we were able to present a check for $10,000 to a Main Street Fund that was matched by Oakland County. In addition, this August we were able to make our first park project donation of $7500 to the West Michigan community where our farm is located.”

While the state-mandated stay-at-home order — which lasted in full-force until early June — may have limited the scope of New Standard’s launch, it likely did little to hinder the shop’s business.

June data from Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency shows that weekly adult use sales in the state surpassed medical sales for the first time ever that month, having grown sharply since adult use was legalized in December of 2019. In this time, New Standard has become one of the premier cannabis companies in the state. 

Cultivating Culture

The end of Michigan’s lockdown period saw the opening of New Standard’s flagship showroom, which was designed to offer customers a space to be introduced to and enriched by the cannabis experience in a comfortable environment. Upon its opening, Luckoff — who also previously served on the board of directors for Detroit-based luxury brand Shinola — explained the attention to detail that went into fostering an inclusive environment.

“New Standard is the first dispensary in Michigan to be a welcoming, comfortable, inclusive destination that anyone curious about cannabis can approach. Everything about our store has been strategically designed to make our guests feel at ease. Our vision is to provide a retail experience with the feel of a Shinola or Starbucks — one that is comfortable and consistent in terms of culture, customer experience and product offerings.”

new_standard_phase_2.png

This attention to detail and design philosophy is immediately apparent as you enter the dispensary and see the bright, angular, art deco interior that extends from the entrance to the waiting room and onto the retail showroom, all of which are lined with large windows giving the entire building an open and inviting atmosphere.

The architecture and furnishings are intentionally meant to reflect New Standard’s guiding principle of providing customers of all backgrounds products of uncompromising quality. Cannabis products from both New Standard’s West Michigan farm and its partnering vendors are showcased like artwork throughout the showroom.

“Our cultivation and retail teams work hand-in-hand to bring products we are truly proud of,” said Fisher. “We know how hard it can be to find a trusted, quality product. That’s why it’s important to establish the unwavering standard for all products sold throughout our New Standard stores, starting with Hazel Park.”

Budding Opportunities

After less than six months since the launch of its flagship provisioning center, New Standard is already keen on expanding its footprint to other areas of Michigan. The startup has plans for locations in at least eight Michigan communities both in the metro-Detroit area, as well as locations including Grand Rapids and Saugatuck.

And like the flagship store, New Standard aims to commit the same degree of welcoming and conscientious service and culture to any future locations it plans to open.

New Standard is striving to ensure its customers have the highest quality experience possible in the early bloom of retail cannabis in Michigan. The company is setting the standard for cannabis culture in Michigan.
New Standard Hazel Park is located at 24906 John R. Road in Hazel Park, Michigan. For more information or to place an order, visit www.anewstandard.com or call 248-873-0420.

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