COOKIES, a retail cannabis and lifestyle brand, recently opened its first Washington location.
In October, COOKIES rebranded the existing 2,700-square-foot High Society retail store in Tacoma. Shoppers can now select from the company’s full family of brands, including Lemonnade, Runtz and Minntz, plus newer strains such as Gary Payton, Cake Mix, Georgia Pie and White Runtz.
“Our team is excited and humbled to open a store in Washington. Washington was one of the first states to legalize cannabis and for that, we are grateful and proud that we get to share COOKIES in such a sophisticated market,” said rapper and founder/CEO Berner. “Tacoma specifically has always supported me and my music for years and I’m excited to embrace the culture there and keep offering new and authentic genetics.”
Berner is a well-known American rapper and entrepreneur with 16 albums to his credit, many which have appeared on Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” chart.
As a businessman, Berner is one of the more well-known names in the national marijuana industry, and has built his brand around the “COOKIE family” of marijuana geneticists that created popular strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Sunset Sherbet.
Berner expanded the brand beyond consumable cannabis products when he opened a successful streetwear and lifestyle store in San Francisco, also called Cookies, that sells smell proof bags and backpacks in a variety of sizes.
There are now stores around the country, including California, Oregon, Colorado, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Tel Aviv, Israel. COOKIES owns a Florida cannabis license, and also plans on opening a presence in Spain soon.
The newly renovated COOKIES in Tacoma is still owned and operated by Dr. Jason Kitzman, who also owns High Society shops in Anacortes, Bellingham, and Burlington. All of these shops are family-owned and operated. His daughter, Perry, manages COOKIES in Tacoma.
“Our store has not changed, we are still very much a Washington 502 dispensary,” explains Kitzman. “We just signed a branding agreement with COOKIES.”
Tacoma provides the perfect setting for COOKIES’ brand expansion into Washington. High Society moved to the current location on South Pine street almost two years ago, which once housed the first marijuana retail shop in Tacoma.
Kitzman said the shop will continue to provide its own line of high-quality products plus exceptional customer service, but with the inclusion of the COOKIES brand, they can now provide a more unique retail experience.
High Society has always taken a different approach when it comes to retail, including wanting to build strong relationships with local growers and processors. It also takes pride in offering several lines that can’t be found in most area shops.
All the cannabis product sold in the store has been produced and processed in Washington, per state requirements; COOKIES branded products sold in Washington are grown in state using COOKIES genetics. Nothing being sold has been grown in California.
In establishing Washington as a premier hub for COOKIES’ connoisseur-grade strains, Berner and Hash Agency founder, Josh Berman, have taken one of America’s oldest adult-use cannabis markets to a new level with the COOKIES’ diverse house of brands.
Kitzman said this partnership is only the beginning.
“We worked through this very carefully, to assure we stayed within every aspect of Washington law. Our relationships with our local growers and vendors remain paramount, and none of that has changed,” he said. “However, bringing COOKIES to Washington offers a new dimension and sets the groundwork for future expansion.”
As a physician, Kitzman’s goal has been to grow a cannabis retail business that is all about helping people.
“With COOKIES, we can reach a broader demographic and bring more people to our store. Once there, our team of expert budtenders can help them find the perfect product,” he said. “COOKIES provide a brand that is based in science and gives our customers a fun new experience while shopping.”
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