LOS ANGELES – Fans began lining up Friday night for the Saturday grand opening of Cookies Melrose, Berner’s second retail location in the Los Angeles area after the Maywood store debuted in January. But it’s the new store—both West Hollywood- and Beverly Hills-adjacent, in a prime location on a heavily trafficked boulevard known around the globe for its world-class shopping experience—that is destined to become the rapper’s prized possession.
By the time Cookies Melrose opened for business Saturday morning, a party was in the making. With armed security blanketing the occasion, Cookies fans of all legal ages lined up for the chance to purchase vaunted strains such as Lemon Chello #9, #10, or #19, Sorbet #7 or #11, Watermelon Zkittlez, or Gelato #23 or #42, to name a few.
The store is large and open, utilizing an efficient concierge system to take and process orders. There is no typical waiting room. After checking at a station at the entrance to the dispensary, customers can roam the room as roving budtenders sporting tablets answer any questions about product that is available for inspection on stations scattered throughout the room. When you’re ready, a budtender will input your order on the tablet and direct you to the correct line to pay for and receive what you came to get. People also can preorder and pick up their order at an express station inside the shop.
Throughout the day, Berner stood greeting customers as they entered. He said the store was only three months in the making, a project timeline almost impossible to imagine. The rapper and entrepreneur was reportedly involved in every aspect of store development, including hiring the staff. My budtender, a young woman who left corporate America for cannabis, said Berner was the only person to interview her for the job, and enthused that the level of cannabis expertise among her colleagues at the store was so high.
A stream of celebrities including Logic, Sosamann, Scott Storch, and Wiz Khalifa stopped by to celebrate the grand opening and Berner’s 37th birthday.
For now, the location is a medical and adult use cannabis dispensary only, but plans are afoot to add a clothing store and a bakery selling non-infused products, each with a separate entrance. Cookies SF is the long-established clothing brand founded by the Bay Area rapper in 2011.
Cookies G Pen Gio
Saturday also marked the culmination of a two-year collaboration between Cookies and Grenco Science, maker of the G Pen, resulting in the Cookies G Pen Gio, which marries concentrates from popular Cookies strains with the company’s new G Pen Gio.
“An ultra-portable concentrates vaporizer, the G Pen Gio features a cutting-edge liquid cartridge system for smooth, natural pulls with maximum vapor density,” stated Grenco in a statement. “Intuitive and ergonomic, the G Pen Gio is draw activated and features an optimized heating temperature and integrated airpath for consistent pulls. The zinc alloy vaporizer houses a powerful 180mah battery that charges quickly with a USB cable in approximately 60 minutes and is designed exclusively for the G Pen Gio.”
Cookies G Pen Gio utilized classic strains for the collaboration. “Berner engineered exclusive concentrates for the G Pen Gio based upon Girl Scout Cookies, including London Poundcake, Sherbert, Gelato, and one natural terpene cartridge, Sunset Sherbert,” said the company in a statement. “As Cookies launches new strains into the market, they will become available in oil form for the G Pen Gio. The collaboration also includes a G Pen Gio battery in white, blue or black.”
The Cookies G Pen Gio, available now at Cookies Melrose and Cookies Maywood, is expected to be available on retailers shelves throughout the state within the month.
Neither is the G Pen Gio the only innovative product in the Grenco Science toolkit. A company representative said a new multi-purpose vaporizer will be released next year designed to compete with the Puffco Peak. Details sound extremely enticing, but we’ll leave it at that for now.