Title: Founder and CEO
Berner is a busy man. Last year, the Cookies founder and CEO launched his first stores in Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma and Washington, opened multiple new stores in California, launched the sativa-focused Lemonnade brand of retail stores and partnered with rappers Rick Ross and Run The Jewels to put out branded strains.
Plus, he found time to put out four albums, including his 17th solo record.
And as soon as he’s done with this interview, he has to take a new strain to Snoop Dogg for his approval and plans to be in the studio most of the night.
“I don’t think many other people can outwork us,” he says. “Life is short, and I think if you want to make noise you have to strike while you’re hot, and right now, I’m feeling very confident in what we’re doing.”
In total, Cookies products are available in 25 legal markets in five countries, all built upon the company’s more than 150 proprietary cultivars. Berner says the San Francisco-based company can “cherry-pick the best operators around the world” to grow its cannabis, and the company works closely with partners to ensure consistency and quality. It’s an authentic lifestyle brand recognized by cannabis consumers and urban fashion fans the world over with no plans of slowing down this year.
But Cookies is not a green rush business or overnight success. It’s the culmination of two decades of work in the industry that began in one of the Bay Area’s gray market, Prop 215 dispensaries. Berner met his partner, Jai, while budtending, and the pair made their name launching the Cherry Pie and GSC strains.
“I wake up every day and breathe this industry,” Berner says. “I want to make sure this brand has legs. It’s my baby.”