Financial news and data company Benzinga has announced that Berner, co-founder and CEO of the cannabis, mushrooms, and clothing brand Cookies, has joined its Benzinga Psychedelics Advisory Council. The council is composed of key thought leaders coming together to share insights into industry trends, relevant news, and industry forecasts.
The Benzinga Psychedelics Advisory Council also honors some of the greatest leaders in the psychedelic industry while providing Benzinga readers and attendees of the Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conference with “unprecedented access” to credible industry insights, according to Benzinga.
Members of the Benzinga Psychedelics Advisory Council plan to share their expertise through a series of articles, opinion pieces, and live conversations at Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conferences, along with quotes on relevant news.
The last Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conference took place April 19 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. It was a full day of speakers, panels, and networking opportunities for attendees to embrace. For anyone who might have missed it, Benzinga has a video library of clips from the day’s events available online.
Berner said that teaming with Benzinga was an obvious choice and voiced his excitement to join Benzinga in its mission.
“Over the years, the Benzinga team has been incredibly supportive of the cannabis and psychedelics industry, and Cookies specifically. I am honored and excited to collaborate with experts in the space,” Berner said.
The billboard charing rapper, cannabis trailblazer, documentary filmmaker, cultural ambassador and business mogul knows what it takes to make something from nothing, immersing himself in the underground rap scene and rising through the musical ranks following the release of his self-produced debut mixtape, Dirty Sneakers…Plenty of Ways to Get It, back in 2007.
Establishing that career foundation, Berner navigated the Bay Area independent music scene. Unbeknownst to him, he was working to build his future in the now-budding cannabis space, too.
Berner started Cookies with grow expert Jai, and though the brand has grown exponentially—selling hundreds of millions of dollars in cannabis a year all over the United States and Canada, not to mention the millions more the Cookies clothing brand rakes in—its goal remains the same. Cookies looks to center authenticity and innovative genetics, controlling the entire experience from start to finish.
The company now offers a collection of more than 70 proprietary cannabis strains and more than 2,000 products. Cookies also works to enrich communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs through advocacy and social equity initiatives. With headquarters in San Francisco, the company opened the doors of its first retail store in Los Angeles in 2018, and since has expanded to more than 40 retail locations and 17 markets across four countries.
In a conversation with Forbes last year, Berner spoke about his role as Cookies continues to grow, calling it the “same game with a little more responsibility.”
“It’s kinda the same game with a little more responsibility,” Berner said. “I feel like it’s our job at Cookies to empower some of the true players, some of the real breeders putting in the work, and some of the real brands that have been left behind.”
Patrick Lane, Benzinga’s executive vice president of partnerships, also voiced his excitement in expanding the council with Berner:
“We’re thrilled to continue to feature a diverse group of men and women who represent some of the leading investors, operators, and technologies in the psychedelics industry,” Lane said.
Javie Hasse, Benzinga’s head of content strategy, also welcomed Berner to the council. He said that few things are as important as collaboration and sharing knowledge in the psychedelic space and that he believes the Benzinga Psychedelics Psychedelic Council contributes to that larger cause.
“Having Berner join will certainly help elevate the discussions and accomplishments to new heights,” Hasse said.