Labeling itself as the nation’s first Black women-owned cannabis speakeasy, Josephine & Billie’s just opened in America’s second-largest city.
Whitney Beatty, CEO and founder, and business partner/COO Ebony Andersen developed the new Los Angeles-based dispensary to create a welcoming and educational retail experience for women of color, including Black women. The business reports its unique speakeasy-style cannabis retail concept was inspired by ‘tea pads’ in Black communities in the ’20s and ’30s.
Reportedly named after famed American-born French entertainer and actress Josephine Baker and legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, the business received its first investment from The Parent Co., a cannabis venture backed by rapper Jay-Z.
“Most stores are designed and built by white people, with one perspective. And women of color rarely get the opportunity to feel comfortable in those spaces. But Josephine & Billie’s was designed and built by, and for, women of color with that in mind,” Andersen said.
The dispensary reports it offers a broad range of high-quality cannabis products from brand partners, including Monogram, Cann, Select, and Kiva Confections. It places a special emphasis on POC-owned, queer-owned, and women-owned brands, including Ball Family Farms, Leune, and California Rolls.
“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 said.
Located along Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, the dispensary claims its cannabis tea pad—the first of its kind in the U.S.—is a modern-day callback to the Jazz Age, from the pearls and feathers of Josephine Baker to the poetry of Billie Holiday. The dispensary declares patrons can listen to music and enjoy cannabis while feeling connected, relaxed, valued, and safe.
Reflecting on the venture, Troy Datcher, CEO of The Parent Co., stated:
“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.”