Photo: Adam Stanzak
Amid the ongoing uproar around their Melrose dispensary, Cookies frontman Berner chatted with L.A. Weekly about the steps they’ve taken to right the ship, and the wider community concerns that some of the complaints are a result of the new racial dynamic they’ve brought to the neighborhood.
Tensions around the store popped off last week when WeHoville announced Cookies as distasteful in the eyes of residents forced to deal with the spillover from the Los Angeles dispensary. Complaints about smoking, speeding, public urination and bad parking habits dotted the comment section. But much of the time, and in similar Nextdoor conversations, people painted Cookies clientele with one brush.
Berner was quick to acknowledge the difficulties in dealing with the massive crowds coming to the shop as the pandemic has only seen cannabis become even more popular. He noted that with anything that’s busy, there is traffic.
“With anything with traffic, there’s going to be some issues right? You look at the Hollywood Bowl when they have concerts, just packed with cars and people parking all around there. Traffic is traffic, right? No matter where you’re at. And we’ve made a lot of changes, especially after seeing the video that one of the neighbors posted,” Berner told L.A. Weekly.
One of the first steps was sending down their chief of corporate security from the Bay Area to clean things up. So far, the response from the immediate neighbors has been positive according to Berner. But he doesn’t think he’ll be able to please everyone. Like others, he believes some of the complaints are rooted in the diversity of the clientele Cookies has brought to the neighborhood.
Published: August 18, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News