Former Founders Brewing Co. COO Chase Kushak has been named COO of New Standard, a cannabis retailer in Michigan.

Taking his career from beer to cannabis has been a natural progression for Kushak. 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 cannabis.

"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."

Kushak also pointed to the similarities between hops and cannabis.

"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,” he said. “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, Muskegon, Nunica, Saugatuck and Whitehall.

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