A New Standard for cannabis in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been set. The difference is individualized customer care and a commitment to their community like their Shelter-Give Back program.
A New Standard for Cannabis in Ann Arbor
I’ll admit it was a bit of a surprise when we got an invitation to tour New Standard, a new provisionary center for cannabis in Ann Arbor. We typically don’t cover the world of cannabis, but we were intrigued by their community outreach event with the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (SAWC). We agreed to a sponsored post and arranged for a tour.
Legal to Buy Cannabis
This wasn’t our first visit to a provisionary center. We joined the crowds on December 2, 2019, when it was legal to buy marijuana in Ann Arbor, for recreational use. It was a big deal, and we didn’t want to miss an opportunity to witness history. When it was finally our turn, I had no idea what to buy. How did I want to consume it? Smoke flower, an edible? And why was I buying it, did I want just to relax, or did I want help going to sleep? I didn’t know the difference between CBD and THC or the dosage I wanted. That first day was overwhelming, and the entourage of security guards was intimidating, if not a bit scary.
I was excited to see how the New Standard would compare with my first experience in 2019. It was precisely the opposite.
When we entered New Standard’s Ann Arbor provisionary center there was a welcoming budtender sitting behind what looked like an old lectern. She reminded me of a hostess at a restaurant. We were greeted warmly and welcomed. You may be thinking, that is because you were invited. I observed several other patrons enter and they were treated the same as us.
In the small room which very much looked like a living room, Sarah Papsal, the SAWC’s director of development was waiting with Skyler Van Dyke, New Standard’s marketing director. One of the main reasons for the tour was to understand New Standard’s “Shelter Give-Back” program.
I was curious if SAWC had any concerns with partnering with a provisionary center. Sarah was quick to assure me they didn’t have any concerns. They were grateful for the partnership. “We are pleased to partner with New Standard to raise awareness about the many faces of homelessness”.
The Shelter Give-Back program which runs through the end of March 2022 has two components:
- There is a donation box at the entrance where anyone can place new hats, gloves, sweatpants, or socks (adult sizes only) to help those in the community. For each donation made, shoppers will receive a 10% discount on their purchase that day.
- New Standard is donating $1 from each Beaverton Farms pre-roll to Washtenaw Shelter Association.
Sarah shared a heart-wrenching story of a man who arrived at the shelter that day without shoes or socks. SAWC works with a range of people struggling with homelessness, including first-time homelessness, veterans, domestic violence survivors, and people battling substance abuse and/or mental health issues. Sarah stressed their homelessness is just temporary. The SAWC is there to lend a hand when people need it most.
SAWC doesn’t accept used clothing like the Salvation Army or the Goodwill Stores. They don’t have the staffing to manage cleaning operations required for used clothing. When we were at Costco the next day we filled a bag with socks and underwear. It was so easy.
New Standard Tour
Immediately you notice their space; it is like walking into a friend’s home. Well, except for the security doors and budtenders who serve as a guide. It is after all a provisionary center and you can’t simply wander around sampling the merchandise. The space is brightly lit and beautiful.
New Standard’s manager was our guide asking us questions while at the same time answering ours. His job isn’t to sell us any product but to share insight about them. I wondered why it sometimes takes several hours for the effects of a gummy to kick in or why the same kind of gummy makes others anxious. Our budtender had the answers. He explained how the attributes of strains, terpene combinations, and my consumption method and metabolism determine the high. This helpful, no pressure approach makes the phrase “New Standard for cannabis” ring true.
New Standard provides a handy flyer for newbies to edibles and books if you really want to take a deeper dive into the world of cannabis. New Standard customers floated in during our tour; a few knew exactly what they wanted. One person had questions which their budtender was answering discreetly. The conversation felt private like you’d have at a pharmacy.
In addition to flowers, edibles, tinctures, and pre-rolls New Standard have vaporizers, pipes, and papers. Our budtender explained it all and helped us sort through the options. If you know exactly what you want you can order online and schedule a pickup.
Location and Parking
New Standard is located on North Main on your way to the M-14 ramp. You may remember the space was once a fly fishing store. They’ve got ample parking. I was worried it would be difficult to exit the parking lot because of the Depot Street intersection. No worries, the traffic light makes it easy.
How does New Standard Compare?
My first experience was crazy and I’m sure the huge crowds influenced it but I’ve been to several other provisionary centers since then. The difference is New Standard’s individualized customer care and commitment to their community like their Shelter-Give Back program. They’ve also got plans for events such as the free stretches with the Stretch Zone they offered on March 5th.
We very much enjoyed our tour and plan to return to New Standard. We have a few more pictures from our tour in the gallery. Please feel free to browse and then head of to New Standard and see for yourself.
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