- Courtesy of New Standard
- Dajuan Holbrook.
Though he was born in Detroit, Dajuan Holbrook spent the core of his career working in Canada for retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch, "and that's how I became more Canadian than American at this point," he says with a laugh.
But now, Holbrook is a Detroiter again, after recently moving his family to an Indian Village home to help take care of his mother. When he saw a job posting for Hazel Park-based cannabis company New Standard, he decided to put his hat in the ring.
Though his experience is in retail, Holbrook says he was drawn to the cannabis industry after his sister-in-law used it after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
"Cannabis has changed her life," he says. "That opened my eyes to the impact of cannabis."
Holbrook says he was also attracted to the position because of the entrepreneurial spirit of working for a company that was more like a startup. "You know, generally every other opportunity I've done in my career, a lot of those pillars were already established," he says. "Having the opportunity to kind of say, 'Hey, you know what? You can come in and put your thumbprint on it and really build something,' that is probably what made me say, 'I got to do this.'"
Holbrook officially joined as Vice President of Retail in September.
While he's aware he's entering the cannabis industry as an outsider, Holbrook says he hopes he can use his perspective to help make New Standard a welcoming, judgment-free zone for others who are new to cannabis.
"I'm not somebody who has an in-depth knowledge of cannabis," he admits. "But I know what it feels like to go into a store and not really know what I'm talking about, and kind of have that hesitation to ask a question."
In Toronto marijuana dispensaries, Holbrook noticed more of a "deli-style" experience, where people just wait in a line to pick up their order. At New Standard, "we actually have that foundation where you spend that one-on-one time with a product specialist, and you can ask some of the most complex questions down to the dumbest question that I would probably ask, and not feel like someone's judging you," he says.
"Before we start trying to sell something to you, we try to get an idea of what you're looking for," he says. "For me, it's really making the connection in regard to somebody who's a novice in buying cannabis, coming to our facility, and having a good experience, and then kind of building that rapport so they come back," he says. The company, which sells medical and recrational cannabis, also offers curbside pickup and delivery for customers who know what they want.
Holbrook says New Standard has plans to expand to throughout metro Detroit and Michigan in the coming months.
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