SAN FRANCISCO – Just a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District, the cannabis liberation movement that started in the ’60s continues this month with tested, licensed, equitable cannabis retail for all adults 21 and over.
The Cole Ashbury Group, in partnership with Cookies, announce the opening of “Berner’s on Haight” – an adult-use licensed cannabis retail store, officially opening its doors to the public today, Saturday December 21, 2019. In this partnership, Cole Ashbury Group will retain full ownership of the cannabis store with Shawn M. Richard serving as CEO of the store and advising Cookies with respect to its broader Social Equity strategy. In turn, Cookies and its founder Berner (a.k.a. Gilbert Milam) bring 20 years of cannabis industry expertise and access to much-needed resources to the Haight Street shop.
The shop will be the first to open under San Francisco’s Social Equity Program, which aims to address the damage done to communities of color by the “War on Drugs.”
Says Vallie Brown, outgoing District 5 Supervisor of the new endeavour on Upper Haight, “Cannabis legalization isn’t coming to the Haight-Ashbury; no, the laws are finally coming to the Haight-Ashbury’s way of thinking, of valuing healing, freedom of expression, and social equity. It’s exciting and fitting that San Francisco’s first social equity cannabis store will be right here in the Haight, and that it will be led by a man like Shawn Richard who has spent decades in selfless service to our community.”
Both Shawn M. Richard and Cookies’ founder Berner have deep ties to San Francisco and the Haight Street community specifically. Berner grew up above his father’s restaurant on Fillmore St. in San Francisco and went on to become a self-made entrepreneur with a cannabis, clothing, and lifestyle empire.
Shawn M. Richard is a native San Franciscan who grew up within walking distance of the soon-to-open cannabis store. The founder of the violence reduction nonprofit Brothers Against Guns and a co-founder of the San Francisco Equity Group, Shawn M. Richard is also the first Equity Partner approved by the City and County of San Francisco to open a cannabis store under the San Francisco Cannabis Equity Program
“This isn’t just a store, it’s a platform,” said Shawn M. Richard. “All eyes will be on us, and I want to show the City and the world the benefits of partnering with people who are truly committed to advancing equity and understand that our communities need more than expungement. Cookies is that partner, and we’re excited to have them standing with us.”
Berner’s on Haight opens for shoppers on Upper Haight
The store is located in the most iconic part of San Francisco at the cross-section of cannabis culture and known as a tourist destination for visitors from all over the world. There is no better place for Berner’s on Haight to put down roots than in the community of Upper Haight.
Beginning this weekend, Haight-Ashbury shoppers will get access to the most in-demand cannabis products in the world in a contemporary, licensed, and secure store. Designed by UK design firm Brinkworth, the soft blue and crisp white retail space at 1685 Haight Street features multiple viewing and purchasing stations for checking out Cookies’ unparalleled cultivars including Georgia Pie, Sunset Sherbert, Cherry Pop, Pancakes, Ocean Beach and Gary Payton.
Berner’s on Haight will feature the entire lineup of Cookies’ world-class genetics as well as products from the entire family of Cookies brands including Lemonnade, Runtz, Powerzzzup, Minntz, and Grandiflora.
A licensed retail cannabis store on Haight Street is a defining moment for Cookies founder, Berner, a San Francisco native and Latino entrepreneur with a cannabis, clothing, and lifestyle empire, and his entire Cookies team. The Cookies founder and CEO said he couldn’t wait to open Haight Street because it represents so many meaningful things to the brand and the city of San Francisco, “It’s great to finally open a store in the city of San Francisco.”
“I’m honored to be partnered with Shawn M. Richard in opening the first social equity dispensary in San Francisco,” said Berner, “We want this partnership to be a model replicated across the country as more social equity programs emerge. The exclusive family of Cookies brands and products will help ensure the first social equity dispensary is a major success.”
Berner’s on Haight joins Cookies’ flagship clothing store — already a Haight-Ashbury fixture and sponsor of the Haight Street Fair. The Berner’s on Haight store opening is a part of Cookies’ ongoing global retail, cultivation, and licensing expansion strategy.
Curated for the connoisseur, the Cookies brand leads global cannabis culture from its headquarters in the Bay Area, California. Born from humble beginnings in a San Francisco Mission District garage, and dedicated from day one to excellent genetics and authentic culture, Cookies was officially founded in 2012 by the top-selling, award-winning Bay Area rapper and entrepreneur Berner, and his partner Jai, a leading Bay Area cultivator and breeder of Girl Scout Cookies, Gelato, and other top-selling strains of contemporary cannabis.
Subject to constant knock-offs and counterfeits, Cookies has the most in-demand, fast-moving, premium-priced cannabis products in the world, with a library of over 50 cannabis varieties and product lines including indoor, outdoor, and sungrown flower, pre-rolls, vape carts, edibles, and gel caps. Cookies’ two flagship stores in Los Angeles on Melrose and Maywood, plus a third location in Redding, are stocked with elite, designer, high-end cannabis varieties grown in-house for unparalleled product quality control. Cookies’ ensures excellence and authenticity—from product execution to the final consumer retail experience. And Cookies’ deep talent roster gives them an edge over new market entrants that lack Cookies’ decades of combined institutional knowledge of both the plant and the culture.
Since its inception, Cookies has been adamant in driving the conversation surrounding social justice within the cannabis industry and is one of the pioneers of the social equity movement, partnering with and championing the voice of equity applicants to launch products, open stores, and develop new categories for the brand.
In 2019, Cookies genetics are being enhanced by new partnerships with the brands Lemonnade, as well as PowerzzzUp. Official Cookies flowers and other products are also coming soon to Arizona and Michigan through new partnerships with Harvest in Arizona, and Gage in Michigan. To stay tuned for upcoming news on new stores in California, and new partners in other states, sign up for updates at www.cookiescalifornia.com.