Cookies, the global cannabis brand from California, has recently announced that it will be opening stores throughout Europe, with its first ones being in London and Vienna. The popular brand has dispensaries throughout the USA and was founded by West Coast Rappers Berner and Jai, with the former being signed to Wiz Khalifa’s label Taylor Gang Entertainment.
The iconic US brand has entered into a business deal with Israeli cannabis company Intercure. Together the two companies will open Cookies branded CBD and medicinal cannabis stores, with a view to them becoming pharmacies to serve the burgeoning European cannabis market. Intercure have been operating Cookies stores in Israel with a similar business model.
The first Cookies store is expected to open its doors in London sometime in the spring, although there are no details of where in London they will be opening. The company has announced that in order to deal with minimal amounts of red tape they will begin their operation by selling their own brand of CBD products only, with the pharmacy side of the business expected to open as and when UK regulations change.
Discussing the rollout and initial product offering with BusinessCann, Intercure CEO Alexander Ravinovitch said “Vaping is a very important part of the strategy, so we will also launch a couple of high quality vaping Cookies products. In time, and as its licences and regulation develop, Intercure plans to evolve these stores into what we call a pharmacy base. Once the regulation is in place, we can also serve the patient community with high THC products. We will start with medical products and we have a big line of them. We think that in both the UK and Austria there is a huge potential and support for Cookies branded products.”
Mr Ravinovitch went on to highlight how the UK’s medical community must first build more confidence in cannabis as a safe and effective treatment if the UK is to replicate the success of the Israeli medicinal cannabis market. “We believe that what happened in Israel, the process that we saw here in Israel coming from the tight, ultra-medical and very strict regulations, and opening it up and building up the confidence within the physician and the patient communities, will happen in Europe.”
He continued with, “Regulations are very important. Regulation comes with the support of the physicians and the doctor community. And I think once you set up the right regulations and doctor communities gather enough confidence in GMP medical cannabis products, we will probably see the same trends in all major territories. Israel is a few years ahead of all other international markets, really representing the future of international cannabis. It has a very active local competitive landscape, and we have seen growth since inception. This kind of set the stage for support from the doctor communities, and also from the patient side.”