CEO Whitney Beatty and COO Ebony Anderson just opened up the nation’s first dispensary designed by and for Women of Color in Los Angeles — a Jazz age-inspired cannabis speakeasy called Josephine & Billie’s.
As a tribute “to the pearls of Josephine Baker and the poetry of Billie Holiday,” the dispensary’s website notes that the space will take its visitors on “a trip back to the ‘Teapads’ in Black communities of the 20s and 30s, where folks would commune to enjoy jazz and cannabis while feeling connected, relaxed, valued and safe.”
Josephine & Billie’s opened up to the public on Oct. 29. In a statement, Anderson noted most dispensaries “are designed and built by white people, with one perspective.”
“And Women of Color rarely get the opportunity to feel comfortable in those spaces,” the COO added. “But Josephine & Billie’s was designed and built by, and for, Women of Color with that in mind.”
The speakeasy’s mission statement further highlighted the founders’ mutual desire to have as many Women of Color as possible experience and discover “the healing properties of plant medicine.”
Offering a place to do just that — in a “communal, creative and safe” environment — visitors will be able to learn about everything “from THC percentages, strain types and terpene profiles” while also finding healing, easing tension and uplifting themselves.
“Research shows that women are more anxious than men, and data shows that Black women are facing the most anxiety — and yet we have not seen a dispensary focusing on this demographic,” Beatty noted.
When at Josephine & Billie’s, customers will be able to select the products that suit them based on the effect that will be provided, such as “relief” or “focus.” The high-grade cannabis offered will include a variety of products from brand partners including Monogram, Cann, Select and Kiva Confections, according to PR Newswire. Notably, Josephine & Billie’s also emphasizes including POC-owned, queer-owned and women-owned brands in the speakeasy, like Ball Family Farms, Leune and California Rolls.
Josphine & Billie’s secured financial backing from social equity-focused corporate venture fund, The Parent Company, of which Jay-Z is the Chief Visionary Officer.
Troy Datcher, CEO of The Parent Co., positively addressed venturing into business with Beatty and Anderson in a statement that in part read:
“Josephine & Billie’s unique and necessary mission to develop a welcoming and educational retail experience, particularly for Women of Color, exemplifies why Whitney and Ebony are the exact types of entrepreneurs that we want to stand up and stand behind with our social equity fund as we focus on shaping this industry’s future and uplifting all communities.”
If you’re interested in visiting Josephine & Billie’s, find more information via the dispensary’s website.