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Forbes Reveals Berner as the First Cannabis Executive Ever Featured on Its Iconic Cover

Cannabis milestone follows AdAge naming rapper and cannabis entrepreneur Berner’s Cookies one of the “Hottest Brands of 2021.”




Cookies co-founder and CEO, Berner. PHOTO MG MAGAZINE

Forbes heralds the arrival of the cannabis industry in its latest issue, placing Cookies co-founder and CEO Berner on its much-coveted cover. It is the first time since the storied American business magazine launched in 1917 that a cannabis executive will grace the cover of Forbes.

A hallmark of entrepreneurial accomplishment, recent Forbes covers have featured notable leaders and trailblazers including Vice President Kamala Harris, Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek and brothers John and Patrick Collison, the co-founders of Stripe.

Cookies Co-Founder and CEO Gilbert Anthony Milam Jr., also known as Berner, is featured on the August/September 2022 issue. The editorial decision to spotlight the 38-year-old rapper and cannabis entrepreneur represents yet another powerful milestone for the $72 billion cannabis industry.

The August/September cover of Forbes, featuring rapper, entrepreneur and Cookies CEO, Berner. PHOTO COURTESY FORBES/BERNER

“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,” said Berner. “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.”

The honor of landing the iconic Forbes cover follows AdAge naming Cookies one of the “Hottest Brands of 2021,” the first time the advertising industry publication honored a cannabis business with its annual accolade.


A story of success amidst challenges

Forbes staff writer Will Yakowicz, who covers the complex cannabis industry, said his story takes a look at the industry’s regulatory and commercial landscape and illuminates how Cookies as a successful brand navigates the often challenging environment.

“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,” said Yakowicz. “In a decade, Berner has built Cookies into the buzziest global brand in cannabis — despite massive overregulation and overtaxation.”

Founded in 2010 by Billboard-charting rapper and entrepreneur Berner and Bay Area breeder and cultivator Jai, Cookies offers a collection of over 70 proprietary cannabis cultivars and more than 2,000 products. 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 5 countries. Cookies also actively works to enrich communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs through advocacy and social equity initiatives.

To learn more about Cookies, visit its website.



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