Why aesthetics matter, as per higher standards
How the popular brand has turned “stoner” culture into an elevated lifestyle
In the year 2021, everyone knows what the stereotype of a being a “stoner” entails. While the term is typically associated with a specific demographic, there are a growing myriad of people who are intrigued by marijuana and its many accessories. Higher Standards is doing its part to break down any negative associations with the cannabis industry and make it accepted by and for all types of people.
Higher Standards is a brand and retail concept shop for smoking connoisseurs who live an elevated lifestyle. It’s flagship store opened in the Chelsea Market in New York City in 2017, and the business has been growing ever since. In addition to marijuana, the shop also supplies accessories and pieces that make smoking an easy and enjoyable experience – not to mention, aesthetically pleasing.
The innovative cannabis brand sells heavy-duty glassware, hemp wraps, and cones and accessories including ashtrays and cleaning kits. Higher Standards sells their own brand products in addition to products from STORZ&BICKEL, Pax, Juul, Kush Kards, Forestry Wool, and Skeem candles. Every kind of smoker will be able to find something that piques their interest at Higher Standards’ store.
“People are going out and spending hard-earned money on very high-quality dry herb and concentrate and then taking it home and smoking it out of a dirty pipe or a vaporizer,” said Higher Standards’ General Manager Eric Hammond. “And you wouldn’t go and buy Wagyu and eat it off of a dirty plate.”
Higher Standards’ high-end aesthetic and branding resembles that of a luxury cosmetics brand, which is clear in their signature product known as the Supreme Clean Kit ($35). It features a variety of tools that real marijuana connoisseurs are already using, such as a resin bag, stem bag, and dot wipe.
Beyond the products, Higher Standards’ in-store shopping is quite opulent, so the experience of buying Higher Standard is just as elevated as the products themselves. The knowledgeable staff members double as both retailers and cannabis educators. That staffing is an essential factor in helping to break the social stigma against marijuana and its current lack of federal legality in most states.
“As consumers continue to be educated about cannabis and begin to see cannabis more easily integrated into their lives, we’ll start seeing cannabis brands targeted specifically and successfully at the luxury consumer,” says Hammond.
The long-term goals of Higher Standard are to add dispensary counters if marijuana becomes legalized in New York state, continue growing their retail business through pop-up shops in states where cannabis is legal, and eventually end the negative stereotypes that are often associated with the cannabis industry. As marijuana continues to grow in popularity among luxury markets and demographics, we’re sure to see a rise in the acceptance of these kinds of products. When all is said and done, Higher Standards might be among the first cannabis brands in what could become the norm in cultivating and capitalizing on a luxury cannabis consumer.
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