Chase Kushak, New Standard’s COO tackles a new frontier, from beer to bud


Chase Kushak has spent his career dedicated to building great teams, creating brands, and launching impactful companies in a vast array of industries including consumer packaged goods, automotive, consulting, home building, tech, and craft beer. Now, he is tackling the new frontier of the cannabis industry as COO of New Standard, a cannabis retailer that is setting the standard for cannabis culture in Michigan.

Taking his career journey from beer to cannabis has been a natural progression for Kushak, who seamlessly transitioned his expertise and passion from one enlightening product to another. If you’ve ever enjoyed a cold Founders brew (where Kushak was formerly COO) you understand. With the legalization of cannabis across the state, Kushak is leading the New Standard team to new heights and helping people understand the value and benefits of this unique flower.

“There are a lot of similarities between the beer and cannabis industries,” Kushak said. “Both rely on the importance of building a brand that will connect to consumers on a personal level and have the challenge of keeping up with an industry that is fun, energetic and growing at breakneck speeds. I see Michigan as being on track to become a nationally recognized leader in cannabis in the same way it has set the tone for craft beer across the country.”

Cannabis is the new frontier, not only for Kushak but for the country. Recent reports show that Michigan is leading the charge in the cannabis industry creating more than three million jobs in 2020.

Breaking down the stigma of cannabis is also something close to his heart. Like beer, cannabis is a natural product that can enhance a consumer’s quality of life. The benefit to legalization is that they are both now able to be highly regulated making consistency and quality critical product components for both use and safety.

“Hops and cannabis are very similar,” Kushak said. “In the early days of craft beer, it was all about alcohol content. But then, consumers got more focused on taste profiles of the hops and put that ahead when choosing a brand. People started to like the experience, the taste and the nuance more than the buzz. The same thing is starting to happen with cannabis. Just like a beer or glass of wine, cannabis has this great way of bringing people together and creating great conversations and experiences.”

Joining New Standard Hazel Park and Sand Lake, in the coming months Michigan residents can expect to see the New Standard name in Edmore, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Muskeegon, Nunica, Saugatuck and Whitehall all with the same commitment to culture and a cannabis experience like none other.

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