If you are among the millions of viewers who enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade As one of your annual holiday rituals, I have a new game for you.
It’s called the “spot the future of cannabis.”
May appear briefly in the background of an Al Roker-scarf and-fedora standup. Or on the shoulder of Hota Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. It’s a corner building painted sky blue: Cookies SF’s new flagship store.
Yes, cookies are about to make America’s most beloved Thanksgiving tradition. I say it’s time.
Get your NYC cookies in the shot!
Cookies, for those joining us here for the first time, is the cannabis brand founded by the hip-hop artist Berner. Over the past 10 years, Berner has grown his company from a small California startup into one of the most respected brands in cannabis.
That growth was on display in Manhattan last month when overflow crowds packed the corner of Sixth Avenue and 35th Street.The tenth st. , right across the street from Macy’s in Herald Square – all for the opening of New York’s first Cookies SF store. (And they don’t even sell weed.) Here at Leafly we gave the opening Abundance From coverage.
Although they shop all over NYC all the time, this cookie-cutter clothing store is legally known as Cookies SF. Because statutory cannabis laws are so restrictive, some companies have to separate their licensed cannabis store operations from brand name merchandise operations. So the clothing stores are technically known as Cookies SF. It is one family, with two separate entities. One touches the plant and the other does not.
Believe the hype
I’ll admit: I was a little skeptical of the hype. But then I had the chance to check out the scene myself.
During a trip to New York earlier this month, I took a day to wander through some of the many unlicensed “gift shops” selling weed from storefronts. The gray market, as you’ve heard, is thriving. I counted six unlicensed cannabis stores across five blocks in Chelsea, including a pop-up weed truck parked along Sixth Avenue.
Find gift shops
Cannabis culture, at 8The tenth Ave. , across the street from Madison Square Garden, impressed me with their professional setup, well-stocked store, and money-making location. Every train commuter that walks into Penn Station and every Knicks/Rangers/concert fan is just a few steps away from a little something on West 30th.
Meanwhile, the Breckenridge Hemp Company, at SixThe tenth Ave, West 31Street Saint, it was baffling as hell. How do they sell “State Tested and Colorado Approved” weed in Manhattan? Bud Breckinridge showed me some pretty blooms, though, preserved in large, gallon-sized glass jars.
Cookies are miles ahead of everyone else
Most of the gift shops reminded me of the old, no-rule medical marijuana days in Washington state and Colorado—simple, limited-edition stores staffed by very friendly people. prices were low, up-to-date anyway. I don’t remember dispensaries back in the day selling single generic first rolls for $15.
Then I walked through the doors of the Cookies SF flagship store in Herald Square. It felt like traveling forward through time.
Though it doesn’t sell any actual cannabis—Berner’s no idiot, but he’s looking to get a full license—Cookies SF offers branded merchandise that embodies everything successful weed brands stand for: fun. cheerful. Creator. Clever.
Wonderful Cookies’ originality is showcased in their store:
Provide an authentic cultural connection
Cookies, the family brand, doesn’t just sell cannabis. They offer consumers a lifestyle brand. Berner established his reputation in the hip-hop world, then put together that corporation with a mission to sell only the finest quality cannabis.
What sets the cookies apart is their special hybrid breed: cultural authenticity intersected with gorgeous graphic design. The company breaks out of a specific subculture and goes mainstream while turning the very difficult trick of maintaining its cultural respectability. Few companies have managed to do this. Think Vans, the shoe company born into California’s ski culture, or Patagonia’s outdoor adventure world.
This blend of cultural authenticity, respectability and clever design is on display at the Cookies SF Herald Square boutique. Check out these technical callouts for NYC media organizations below. An old man gets stuck in the streets of Brooklyn. The Cookie Day Parade refers to the traditional Macy’s parade.
The next era in the cannabis brand industry
The entire aesthetic is contained in the jersey, pictured below, which pays homage (from above) to the New York Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The New York Post, in the orange-and-blue Knicks/Mets color scheme, with a little cookie-cutter branding on it. C” is back there to let you know that this company is ready to take its place among the cultural institutions of the Big Apple.
Respect for the designer – and the people who run Cookie, who have clearly created an impressive network of in-house artists and contractors.
Starred at the national retail show
All of this takes place in a store not hidden away on some corner of Brooklyn. It shines in Manhattan’s Herald Square, a showcase for high-profile retailers. Macy’s flagship store is located across the street. Nearby are shops selecting brands from Dr. Martens, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Sephora, Tissot, Levi’s, and Aeropostale.
I entered the store skeptically. I’m out of the transfer. Cookies SF welcomes New Yorkers, and the millions of people who visit New York each year, to the future of cannabis in the best way possible. The future of cannabis is fun, playful, cool, smart. The future of cannabis is welcome.
And on Thursdays, if you keep your eyes peeled, you can catch a glimpse into that future as part of your Thanksgiving Parade viewing experience. Perhaps Al, Hota, and Savannah pop into the Cookies SF store to check it out for themselves. go ahead. It’s legal.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the legal separation between cookies and SF cookies.