As the acceptance of marijuana continues to rise and the stigma about the green herb weakens, the cannabis industry is making its way into mainstream shopping centers. Higher Standards, a cannabis and cannabis accessories brand, is preparing to open the doors of its second shop location at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia on April 20.
The brand chose to do this in Atlanta because it is one of the cultural epicenters of the world. The colorful and lively city’s people, places, and social scenes have had and continue to have an undeniable influence on pop culture. The landmark location at the Ponce City Market shopping mall is sure to enhance and uplift the already vibrant community.
Higher Standards opened its first location in 2017 in the Chelsea Market of New York City. The entire premise of the brand is to create high-quality products for people who want to live an elevated and lavish lifestyle. It’s for the luxury smoking connoisseur, and Higher Standards creates an upscale experience through its in-store service, its products, and its standout packaging.
According to Eric Hammond, Higher Standards’ General Manager, “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."
In addition to Higher Standards own brand products, which includes glassware, cleaning kits, accessories, and a just-dropped HS Streetwear capsule collection, it also offers curated pieces from classy consumption brands like Storz & Bickel, LEVO, Grav Labs, Puffco, Tree Trunk, and PAX. While there is no cannabis for sale at its brick-and-mortar locations, Higher Standards offers a small selection of high-quality CBD items meant for self-care.
“When you think about luxury cannabis as an experience, rather than a product category, the irony is that cannabis has long been one of the most luxurious products on the planet, even when it was exclusively in the illicit market,” says Hammond. “If you were something of a cannabis connoisseur back then, you probably had a very strong relationship with your ganjaman who knew your preferences, set special things aside for you and delivered to you on a whim. Cannabis also has a true culture of connoisseurship around it, and a relatively gentle learning curve to discover the differences between strains. In that regard, cannabis also has similarities to wine or spirits.”
It’s safe to say that cannabis is slowly but surely earning its way to the mainstream market alongside alcohol, tobacco, and other legalized recreational substances. As marijuana continues to become legal in more states, we’re sure to see Higher Standards popping up in more mainstream malls with other cannabis and cannabis accessory brands following suit.
Overall, Higher Standards hopes to keep expanding its business while also reshaping the general view of what a cannabis lifestyle actually looks like for most people.