It’s official: marijuana has made its way into the modern shopping mall. Situated between two mainstream chains, J. Crew and West Elm, Higher Standards is readying to open the doors of its second location at Ponce City Market in Atlanta on April 20.
Last week dosist celebrated its standalone space and last month, The High End became a reality for Beboe and Barney’s New York. But first came Higher Standards, which opened in late 2017 at Chelsea Market in New York City. Co-founded as a side hustle to his role as chief marketing officer at Greenlane Holdings, an international distributor of cannabis products and accessories, Sasha Kadey is the mastermind behind sparking the retail revolution taking shape in the post-legalization era.
As the traditional head shop fades into history, an experience more closely linked to the cannabis lifestyle is the future. Kadey explains, “Higher Standards is not a cannabis brand, but a lifestyle brand rooted in cannabis culture. Cannabis use really is a lifestyle for many people, so naturally cannabis brands are lifestyle brands.”
Also Higher Standards’ creative director, Kadey, 35, has created a concept intended to expand across the country in harmony with its own brand, which includes glassware, cleaning kits, accessories and a just-dropped HS Streetwear capsule collection. Curated pieces from classy cool consumption brands Storz & Bickel, LEVO, Grav Labs, Puffco, Tree Trunk and PAX are matched with marijuana-minded home goods from Malin + Goetz, Blackwing Pencils, Oxford Pennant and Revelry Supply in both brick and mortar locations with select HS supplies available online. There is no cannabis for sale, but yes, a small selection of CBD self-care items is also stocked.
Back home in Miami Beach following a launch party for a Jonathan Adler collaboration and a Greenlane IPO announcement earlier this week, I caught up with Kadey, to talk about the current cannabis retail environment, Higher Standards’ new Atlanta location and the meaning of lit luxury.