Forbes made history this month with their August/September cover featuring Berner, the first cannabis executive to get that bragging right. This is huge for both the brand and the cannabis industry.
The magazine has been running since 1917 and has featured all kinds of innovators in its time, but this will be a historical moment for the cannabis industry as well as for the magazine and Berner, who is well known in cannabis circles and the world of hip hop.
Anthony Milam Jr., aka Berner, is established as the co-founder and CEO of the cannabis brand Cookies as well as with his renowned rap career. Previously featured on the cover of CULTURE and many times in various cannabis publications, Berner is now spotlighting his role in the cannabis industry and in a professional role with the well-known business magazine.
“It’s every entrepreneur’s dream to make the cover of Forbes, but the reality is very few founders and CEOs of the largest companies in the world will actually get a chance to achieve that goal,” says Berner about the opportunity. “I’ve been in the legal cannabis industry for 20 years and have dedicated most of my life to this fight. To be selected as one of the faces for federal legalization in our country is a huge compliment to my work. I’m extremely humbled, excited and motivated to keep pushing the cannabis industry forward and to continue representing minorities in the space. This is just the beginning for Cookies and I want to thank Forbes for helping us share our story.”
This isn’t the first mainstream recognition Cookies has gotten. The brand has been featured as a “hottest brand of 2021” by AdAge, the first time that publication gave a cannabis business that award, and has been expanding to new markets across the country.
The story was written by Will Yakowicz, a reporter who has a history writing about the cannabis industry through a business lens. He claims his story looks at the regulatory and commercial aspects of cannabis, as well as the journey Cookies has taken to become an established cannabis brand.
“This story is about how the federal government continues to botch opportunities to legalize the cannabis industry and lift a $72 billion economy out of the shadows,” says Yakowicz about his story. “In a decade, Berner has built Cookies into the buzziest global brand in cannabis—despite massive overregulation and overtaxation.”
The issue of Forbes will be available August 16, and can be previewed on the site now. The classy image featured on the cover shows an up-close profile of the well-known entertainer.
Cookies was founded in 2010 by Berner and Jai, a cannabis cultivator from the Bay Area. The brand focuses on genetics, cultivars, premium products, and helping out communities that have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. Their philanthropic arm helps bring education and access to the community.
“Cookies also actively works to enrich communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs through advocacy and social equity initiatives,” the press release on the cover story explains. “Headquartered in San Francisco, the company opened its first retail store in 2018 in Los Angeles, and has since expanded to over 50 retail locations in 17 markets across five countries.”
Not only is this a major win for the cannabis industry, an area that has long been shunned and ignored by the legitimate business world, it is also a major step for bringing restorative justice to cannabis prisoners and impacted communities, since Berner and Cookies specifically bring attention to these issues. Hopefully, this will be the first of many cannabis cover stories with major business publications.