Gilbert Anthony Milam Jr. (born October 27, 1981), better known by his stage name Berner, is an American rapper and entrepreneur signed to Wiz Khalifa's Taylor Gang Entertainment. As of 2019, Berner has released 16 albums, several of which have charted on Billboard's "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums" chart. As an entrepreneur, he's credited with the creation of multiple companies including Cookies, and is heavily active in California-based cannabis trade marketView the profile
Louis Mario Freese (born June 2, 1970), known by his stage name B-Real, is an American rapper. Since 1991, he has been one of two lead rappers in the hip hop group Cypress Hill, along with Sen Dog. He has also been a part of the rap metal band Kush (2000-2002), the hip hop supergroup Serial Killers (2013-present) and the rap rock supergroup Prophets of Rage (2016–2019). He has released a variety of solo mixtapes, as well as two solo albums: Smoke n Mirrors (2009) and Tell You Something (2020).View the profile
About the talk
It’s widely known that the legal cannabis industry, which has been dominated by multi-state operators, is no longer representative of the original entrepreneurs who built the country’s modern cannabis culture. However, many leading cannabis brands are actively challenging these social and economic disparities by partnering with high-profile entrepreneurs and amplifying their unique stories. This panel will feature powerhouses in both cannabis and entertainment: Berner, Al Harrington and Flo Storch. Together with the VP of Greenlane Brands, Eric Hammond, the panel will discuss how real social change is created at the intersection of entrepreneurship and entertainment through cannabis.
SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, this year’s online event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. For more information, please visit sxsw.com.
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Hi, my name is Eric and I'm the VP of Bremen. Brandy Green Bay holding, which operates is the powerful House of Brands, third-party brand accelerator and I'll meet you in the distribution platform. Entertainment discuss how they are redefining candidates entrepreneurship All right, one of the time guys, burner Allen slow. Can you take a second to introduce yourself to the audience and tell us why you decided to open yours? In this case, I guess I'll start with you. A, my name is burner, founder-ceo cookies, and
I decided to come by entrepreneur cuz I didn't want to work or for anyone else on the following. My dreams naturally found love with marijuana, Ranchos my destiny. Excellent. What about you? It's so well background. You know play in the NBA to 16 years, got into the Cannabis states are the top 10 year anniversary of being in the space. I was inspired by my grandmother and founder and CEO founder and CEO of Viola Brands. CEO of Kellie sweets, which also known as coconut. We started off with plain chocolate. That looks like marijuana and took it to anything from Blunts to
moon rocks. Now, we're about to launch. I mean, we've already launched out of walls and I are about to launch flower. Well, thank you guys very much for joining me on this panel and we'll kind of hop right in and I'll try and direct some question to each of you. And others will be kind of open topics to discuss. What kind of starting our super-connected. Stove? Burner how was your experience at the rapper, influence your voice of the Cannabis on 6th, New York? Mayweed music. Go together like peanut butter and jellies just like a, you can't make music on my mind without, you know,
catching your Vibe and for me to leave with my vibe. So I played a big role in like the crazy part of a, you know, the music process. But also played a big role in meeting with a brand new cannabis in and do what I have to do to get cookies popping. You know what the music was my mega phone. It was my platform to kind of, you know, showcase cookies to the world. So if late is my my platform but also the urban, you know, it was a very big part of the creative process as well. So they complement each other. They're very authentic connection to you, both are in the mix. What role do you think the
music industry is played in driving for the legalization movement? I feel like more culture has been talking about it more and more. I feel like you don't, you agree with me for him. Like I feel like, you know, the people that put on early on in the world like the Bone Thugs, like normalizing Bud. And, and just, you know, have occasion for it to Willie Nelson's of the world use. It definitely helped advocate. Dallas. Stephen authentic connection. As a former professional athlete. What was your perception of the plant back when you were competing and how do you
think attitudes in the first sports movie has shifted in the past few years? And obviously, this has been a superb Isabel thing across the number of different entertainment platform. Yeah, me and you do for me, you know, growing up in the, in Orange New Jersey. I was always afraid of him cuz I seen it destroy so many people lives. You know, I can remember in 8th grade homeroom your to, you know, two kids and locked up for having like nickel bags of weed in that Locker. So I was always afraid of it. You know I'm saying? I was told that it was a gateway drug and then like see your point being an
athlete. I just felt like smoking with his bad in general. So not until I got into the NBA and you know as a rookie you know watching some of my veteran players smoking more herbs and you know I'd ever seen right and then being able to go out and compete at a super high level. So I think that you know, a lot of those guys to meet taught me that you know a lot of the stigma that was attached to Cambridge for me growing up was all you no bulshit so you know as I got older and you don't ask me no more guys continue to smoke and know the drug program. You don't have any guys. Be
suspended at being a program and stuff like that. Obviously you know, was a huge issue during that time but I think because of so many Advocates, like the people that are here on this call and music and you know, other people just being able to step out the Green Door, you know, obviously a lot of things have changed since then and now you see all the sports announcer to take cannabis off there being substance list. It's nice to see them all kind of changing their testing protocols and get some completely taken off the list. Others like the NBA, you know, really limiting their testing
range and in the repercussions for being caught with it though it's really nice to see that. I can definitely see how to start utilizing cannabis a part of their if, you know, you know, this the traditional prescription drug buddies. So all the NBA players are benefiting from that. I think the big army man cuz he put that you put that in the mix for sure, for sure. my aunt is quite like, you know, the Met call MVA in all players. And a spell and be a No, it's not legal. It's just no longer being tested for so pretty much,
but they haven't, they haven't, like, incorporated into the into the CBA yet because like the bargain agreement, what they've done is right now. They just not testing, but hopefully next year, they'll make it official. Can you tell me what to do? Random drug test was weird in the league, right? I mean, literally like you come to the locker room and your name is on the board and you got to walk in and get tested. And you know what we used to do was used to train the rookie. We could train rookies and tell the rookie, they always had to be the first
ones in the gym. So if you see my name, you see our name on the board? Call me so that I can make all the things that I got to do. What I got to do. Go get my Sony number 9 or whatever. I got to do to try to test it on a sandbar, not show up because how would the rule is right? When she show up into the building? You can't leave until you actually pissed and what it was really tough about was really weird about it in the NBA is the person that watches upd8 literally watched a watch watch, right?
You won't pull like a fake one out or something. He literally said, open. Watch. What size are always be like, bro? This is what you want to do with your life. All right, guys. Kind of moving along burner and Al both of you have been you know very visible Advocate to the pope push cannabis into the mainstream. How do you think Austin, yours like yourself? Have you know what it is today? And what are your thoughts on? How the culture has changed it more and more for grading companies and investors are getting into the mix. There's a, there's a lot less people than you don't see, as many people
like me and Alice. You should are the black and brown communities, kind of been like, how did out that make it very difficult to get a license to operate operate a, you know, business, a lot of money. I feel like the the social Equity program was a great concept, but they should have a budget that one with that. That's truly believe that they're going to give someone from the neighborhood. That was affected by the drug war. Someone who just got out of jail for drugs opportunity, to participate in the Cannabis place and that's the big reward for the black and brown Community. There should
have been a budget to back that up. Now, they're charging us, 30% sales tax on Earth will 15%. I should go to the social Equity program is in my opinion. So you know the Cannabis industry from when I was first seen on the medical days has changed a lot. Not just so, you know, the black and brown Community kind of being forced out but Justin to original operators, they couldn't really But with that the fast changes in regulations are rules to get a license so I can find their way back in the game for sure. Cannabis consumption has become so sophisticated.
So how are you guys free? Eating new products and new experiences that cater to you know, this ever-changing different consumer and all these changing preferences I left logo first. I am so sorry. Really tired, you know. Different preferences for consumers are are changing so rapidly. How are you guys creating new products and experiences that cater to this kind of evolving consumer? Right now? We're launching our cocoa flower, right? We had to do 10 different
strains to start because people are starting to like so many different things. One person wants, one person wants the purple and then friends they come and then they start going to the new trend. That's kind of clothing. And then also for like, we look at all the different skews out there from edible to Horizons to flower like, you know, shout the Jeep and, you know, we can Gio for for the risen's and for the oils Santa Cruz Shredder. Invaded with the hemp Shredder this year fully biodegradable,
you know, 10 bucks out the door, a coconut is, were coming with some like mock moon, rocks, edible style things. So, Actually, looks like a full-on Blount, does this not look like a blunt to you? That's a blunt. Then we came out with moon rocks, which are to be infused and fused, and they're on my God. Every time I touch my need to eat one. There was like, marshmallow inside, they're absolutely insane. These are a regular burner you tried them, right? Yeah, I
know right now we got into Six States with are Koko nuggz. Is that your face? But your face with the Coconuts Forester, like a hundred mg is in California, Arizona. I think it's 200 mg medicated and the medicated market. And now we're we're going to go in and flour, only makes sense. The printer, can I ask you a question? Like, you know how everything everybody wants the purple. Now, people want OG's, how food sets these trends for things to change? Just a just a game in general. I mean things will come in style and go outside real quick. People have a short attention span and you know cuz he's
he's at. Do you want some? Was that helping push that forward that what people are talking about? What sites was hot? Do you think that's how? I mean, I feel like that's enough music and influencers and, you know, people with a platformer definitely changing trends for sure. And they're going to keep changing Transit happen to a close alcohol. Just Styles in general. So is he has changed with the weekends, lot different like Brian Eno people wanted like a lot of fruity exotic flavors and they wanted like, dick gassy, Sour OG flavors and they wanted like
the gelato terp. So just got to see. I be able to do that would change. Its really easy for burner. so you definitely the trend setter that way the to my next question. Your we just talked about you in a bit consumers, evolving in the types of products, they want changing but they're just like the products are changing kind of the expectation for Brands within the Cannabis faces evolving. And you know, not only are they just expecting cannabis cookies. You
know, what are you guys doing today? To tap into this lifestyle Evolution with a nickname of his face and created? Well, the first thing is like, a lot of people think they can just put our logo on the t-shirt and, you know, I'll go get the rapper to talk about their sitting at the Lifestyle brand. I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm 37 years old. So to me that's a lifestyle, right? Like this, what I chose to do with my life and so we're just following what got us here in. This is doubling down on like that organic branding of cookies and you know
me just have the brand and be doing what I've been doing for 20 years, has got this brand where it's at and I definitely hurt people that to jump in the space and Grace something and create their own brand. But don't follow with the next man did be Innovative, something different. Like you know, I've been in space for 20 years so I think that we're doubling down on one side is here and that makes the most sense for me to keep cookies. You know, growing
organically and stay relevant. Definitely I'm in deck on a place in to my next question, which is pre-made have worked very closely with you on a number of different things but there is kind of cookies International expansion or survived the partnership and you know cookies is a movement that is more than just a brand you're creating, you know, from activations within stores are in people clamoring for limited edition Prada. What do you think it is that has helped you elevate, cookies, from just us. Another can of his friend has something. That is so
sought. After that are residents are still many consumers across so many different demographics and eat fruits. I mean, it really is changing the landscape. I think that people actually witness the growth and they wrote their own will to like look at me. And and then they just tell / when everything from the clothing business to the Cannabis business and documenting it through the whole process. And I'm seeing you, no, be started out selling T-shirts in the house. Small Warehouse in a bigger Warehouse to for me putting blood out and doing the way I used to do on the internet to
where we're at now with almost, you know, 40 stores. I think people related to me as a person then realize I'm just normal like them and if I can do it any more than do it. So that's like the fact that we brought people along and you know on the journey where is it resonate with people and they can relate to it a lot more than you know but then other things that are out there so that's why I feel like that's cuz they watch the growth and Dave day bro that ride with us. That's why? I mean Super interesting to see. I mean, if you can cross in international waters, do you have the the cookie store
in Barcelona and 50, how people respond to the brand in a globally? It's it's incredible. So, very awesome more. Next, I want to touch on a topic. Do you know who was in the news recently? He got to be any of the Year. Jay-Z launched his own vertically, integrated cannabis company along with the funding support minority entrepreneurs. So wanted to go get all of your take on this and kind of understand what you think this signals to The Wider mainstream audience about the future cannabis and if you think none of that was enough or Justice dark, I
think it was I think it's great that that was one of his first moves. You know what we're doing a cookies is, you know, I haven't really told this to anyone publicly but we're building the university. Had our one large facility that will teach people the business from A to Z. We want to bring an invite minorities up to the One log facility University and teach him the business. Everything from like I said, from seed date with free air manufacturing and distribution consumption Lounge.
Everything all in one spot right in. So we can take people, we build it for building a little mini houses on the property right now and we can teach him the business and give them a head. Start in the game is so anyone that's providing opportunity for you no minorities in general is great and I think that it's more than just supporting the minorities. We should support. People have done to time in jail. Shots of Richard. At least he he just got out of jail. He did three. 2 years in prison. We're going to help him build a Brandon, and help him get in the game that he did 32 years for. And
I'm also other, you know, Class A operators whether it be cool to Raiders are storefront. Operators, like trying to bring them into the cookies umbrella. We're trying trying to embrace the best that I've been in the game for a while. So I think it's a combination of taking care of the minorities in the business as well as the O'Jays. That either one set timer to run the medical days if that's very important to us. It's nice to see you've done a lot with your business and business ventures with it. Also listed caused to help and his people that have been
incarcerated for cannabis offenses, and and others. What, what kind of activities are you guys doing with in cookies, at your other businesses that are healthy? Do this? I know, you talked about that the university, but I know you guys have worked at the bunch of other nonprofit organizations that help you. What else you guys are doing? Yeah, I like to just say I like to work with people that's more like straightforward like a more personal. I definitely left a nonprofit organizations that are helping people but we'd like to just deal with people direct I'm in power, social Equity
partners, and just so we're doing as much as we can to help Empower people in general and just like I said, keep the players from the game in the game. Excellent. And as a general statement, not just what you guys are doing, but you know, what do you think? Modern cannabis, companies can do in general to help move. This Mission will help support under-represented demographics in communities that have been devastated by the War on Drugs. What is your advice to them? How can I get balls and
advocate? Yes, the 4th support the smaller Brands out there support, you know, the local farmers. No, give people opportunities to, to learn and grow within the business. If employees are standing out and doing a great job, you know, gives them, give them higher opportunities. I think there's a lot that the bigger stories can do. I mean, also listen to the culture, listen, listen to the streets, listen to the business, you know, like, I think they can Embrace a lot of things, but it starts with like, you know, the original players in the game, imma keep going back to
that. But the people have been in the game for 10 20 years How could you have you back? I've been crazy difficulties. For the course during the pandemic, right? Part of it but we have to figure out a way to give back you know the companies that are having the success you know giving back that knowledge you know that that that industry knowledge that we have and you know of what was really going on helping with infrastructure that's because this we know like you know attain these licenses is it is extremely difficult and once you get
it to Odyssey keep it complains. You just so you know it's just it's so many different ways that you know because bigger companies can you give back, you know, and it always have to be monetary is really about sharing the information and give me people that are less fortunate in that. Don't have that knowledge to knowledge so that they can be successful because I feel like there's more than enough opportunity for all of us in this face. I don't really see any of us his competition because it's too early in the game. You know what I'm saying? So we just need to be food the information
and trying to help each other Elevate because we need to see the industry. Do good in general. Olivia Gray. Will you agree? If you wouldn't mind, I would love to kind of a couple of the freedom Expressions. Valdosta, kind of throw some your way we were talking about and evolving cannabis consumers in what I've been doing to their products and they're offering to keep up with the change in consumer demand. So what are you guys doing? Trying to stay on top of friends, in, in, in innovator, in
your you Brandon, you're offering I just ain't a thing with the culture, you know, staying with the people, you know, I believe in, you know, if they say, getting it out, the mud being in the mud. So just really just, you know, being within the culture, finding out, you know, what's important to them. And then also being Innovative, you know, I seen that when you think about just some of these bigger technology companies, what they were able to do was trying to do, was able to figure out what people need it before they even knew they needed it. Right? So I think that's the same thing for
us, you know, if you could send me of all these different products and skews, you know, it within know, through the, you know, through the industry. And you know, you look at like even with Burner likely Vibes, you know what I'm saying? Like these are things that, you know, only people like him to think of and realize it's something that the coach made. Would like the regular zigzags and different things like that. So you know, I think it's just important for us to just continue to you no state tax in and try to get it, people what they want.
Definitely. I mean it seems like the comment I from all of you is that is at the core of culture and people resonating with your Brand's what you guys are doing and how you're staying kind of tapped into to what's on Transit. And what's next do feel really good to see your Brands and product offering evolve evolving sourdough. But in ending this, Where do you see the Cannabis industry going? Like, what is next? What do we need to happen? To make sure that we're doing right by, you know, people that aren't afforded the opportunity and you know, that that's kind of the
Nexus of this, right? The wrongs that have happened then and what is it go for a plan to correct it? I think it's all about Advocates, right? Don't ever think that the work is done. You know I'm saying, we got to stay on these next to these politicians and he's legislators, you know, I met with the car with Chuck Schumer couple weeks ago. I'm talking to him. About, you know, what is she's playing? You know what I'm saying? You guys are writing these bills but have you really tapped into the Colts, they have you tapped into the smaller businesses. That really need to help. You got
him since he obviously did really well in this industry. You know, because if they don't, you know, address some of these issues we're going to get left out in the cold. And, you know, we seen this happened. A lot of times, you know, other Industries has four right, sugar cotton alcohol and definitely the lottery. If you don't understand those industries that are obviously booming and people of color with right there in Pioneer them and we have no ownership. So, I think that we have to continue to Lobby Advocate. The work is never done. You know what I'm saying? They need to see our
faces because the people that are in those rooms right now don't look like us and is speaking for us and they don't even know what's really important for us. So there's no way we're going to get what we need out of that. So it's up to us physically to be there and push a narrative. Start using the conversation I had with the with Schumer was big. I was I was fired up to know that he was talking to him cuz it's important here for like a real operator. What we need is a business and I think he's going to continue to do is when we open up in the market like, Oklahoma or Michigan, or going to
ask her what the local brands are killing it right now. At that need that look and put them on our platform and help Embrace everybody that that's, you know, real local farmers have been in it for a while. The more we can bring it. The people from the game in the game and, you know, trying to keep some of these people are trying to monopolize and come in with no passion. No, no, no, love for the plan there, for the industry at all, just grow a bunch of bullshit and put all over the place.
That's not what we want. We want people they're good at what they do that. Love what they do and be doing it for a while to be shining. So cookies are going to continue to embrace people in every Market. We open up in in and give them a chance, camel platform. It's good to see both of you using, you know, such a strong platform to keep using this forwarded to, you know, be able to shine a spotlight on some of these you know, extra health is really empowering and good to see a strong female actress
in your presence as well and I think they could do you know that that's just as important as all the other under-represented no Groot. You'll see not spin or shape is a tremendous under-represented thing for you here. And what is your kind of message to other female, entrepreneurs, that would love to get into the space. And it's just in general, listen, I think the space is Male or female. I mean it's easier for males in the sense of yours. Have a very strong personality cuz you're dealing with
all sorts of people business-wise. I think if you're just a girl trying to get into this field thinking that it makes money and that's the only way you're getting into it. I think that's a wrong move. It's not all rainbows and clouds buns. So you got coronavirus need to steer, clear of the drama and deep throat. Actually in the Cannabis, feel about the things that first day I know about in canvas, of course there's a few of them but it's not as many of this isn't to be like a guy-girl thing. It's just you know you look at it the farmers everything to do with marijuana is
a man's business in my opinion. That's why I started early in packaging of that burn with my partner. Well don't downplay flow like flow flows are very powerful female she'll come and check them off like a real quick and so as you know but here's the thing. And your humble, and I'm not. And I'm trying to be the more humble slept because that may sound like, I'm trying to be the flow. That's like I smoke my joint. I can't hear you over the people. Watching this, do you attack a motherfuker if she has to, and that's what makes it stand out, because it's locked up
the receipt going on. It's very, it's a race to the top, and you got to be bold. You got to be strong for. You have to be home about the same time as this combination, but she's doing a great job. She's out to cam to cam and Callie she's killing as well. Conversate. Against that. However, having this conversation because people like Panel being really, and burned out what's going on with low Sheen. Staying in one would like I've been watching boats and you guys are both really
inspirational, Al burner. I mean, I think that like what you guys are doing is absolutely amazing and it's been motivating. Me. Ask him in the Cannabis business to be know. You guys aren't necessarily and Edibles and motivating to see two companies, you know. Welcome. You know, I remember that and do it. Yeah, but do you remember when we was in front of catching the police tried to stop us because they thought it was weed in the jar. Oh, that's right. Get your ass out of here.
You know how many people really went through like CSA and like was playing too much. You know, it was, it was crazy. And it was funny because even like, like, you know, when Scott was tossing in the studio and like we would watch, I mean, different rappers pendant, it would be scared to actually eat it. And then one time, I think it was Oh my God. Who was it? I think it was uncle murder. Some artists came in. They started eating it. I guess Worldstar picked it
up. Like, what's going on? You guys have lost their mind or eating. so, I think it's more Add, in the sense of like I literally was just making chocolate, but didn't you love that idea when you first saw it? No it was dope. It was definitely, I love it. Yeah it was, it was super dope. Yep. Do you almost got me locked up? It's shell. Definitely glad to see, you know, your brand evolve and you you start getting into a whole bunch of new verticals, then obviously
burn, are you partnering with her, you know, being able to give other option for your is the opportunity that has happened to your platform? I think is incredible. So I really appreciate the time today kind of talking about what you all are doing at the house for this narrative and if there's anything else you guys want to stay or do you know if not again thank you guys so much for the opportunity to stay here about what you guys are doing. Damn ass shots and I love the way the way is popping like I've been seeing the growth since we sat down for the for the Roundtable
interview and definitely proud of you brother. Yeah, we got to do it, bro. We need to do a collab, bro. I got you right now, son. Let's do a collab, bro. I just purchased a bunch of shipping containers that are there seven of them. So I'm popping a bunch of seeds from all the original gear. I want to be having jars every other week, the stuff that we bred in house, I want to come to the Players Club that you got that little Viola location that I met you all
at once, because it was a lot of it took a lot for us to get their shipping containers. And we would only cease for years and I can't wait to see what we find in them. And I definitely want to do it like that bring you something that we built from the ground up brother and into a thick ass glass that purple or blue, bro. You know, I can't wait. This Way Southwest. I've been waiting to do business with our but I want to bring something like I want to bring something special to the table and I
mean like I want to bring it out you know. No one seen before, we worked really hard to get the shipping containers if you know how to do work. And you know I've been I've been watching you but I've been proud of you because you're you you're taking this shit to the next level. Like you said you would and we going to come up with some shit, bro. For sure, no doubt, bro. And I love to give people their flowers growing like real talk, bro. Like you to do. You know what I'm saying? Like you're the one and you the one we are looking at, you know what I'm saying? So just keep pushing because you
keep Rising. You got it. You going to make us. Keep pushing. You know what I'm saying? So just keep doing your thing and I love you and I support you, bro. Anything I could do to help out. So let's figure it out, bro. Definition of predation, guy right here man. I've been pushing hard as a mother fucker, dude. I've been watching it. I know how hard it is. I know how hard it is for me. And I got a huge team and it's tough. I work from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. I don't sleep.
All I do is think business and I've been watching now and I'm definitely proud of you brother and flow. I'm proud of you too. And I told you, I got you in a bunch of things. And so just, let's just keep it as just keep it organic and keep it poppin. Absolutely. I appreciate you all, and you all are incredible. Thank you so much.
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