Berner, the rapper and CEO of the $1 billion cannabis empire Cookies is set to be the first cannabis executive to be featured on the cover of Forbes.
Cookies co-founder and CEO Gilbert Anthony Milam Jr, also known as Berner, is featured on the front cover of the August / September 2022 issue of Forbes. The editorial decision to spotlight the 38-year-old rapper and cannabis entrepreneur by the world-leading publication represents yet another powerful milestone for the $72 billion cannabis industry.
Berner says that Cookies is now worth at least $1 billion with 49 dispensaries across the US and a clothing line that did over $50 million in sales last year, according to the rapper.
Forbes’ recent magazine 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. And now, for the first time since the magazine launched in 1917, a cannabis executive will grace the cover of Forbes.
“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 significant editorial marker follows AdAge naming Cookies one of the “Hottest Brands of 2021”. It was the first time the advertising industry publication honoured a cannabis business with the annual accolade.
Forbes staff writer Will Yakowicz said his story takes a closer look at the industry’s regulatory and commercial landscape and illuminates Cookies as a successful brand navigating 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.”