The cannabis industry is constantly evolving. The plant, which has long been associated with negative connotations, inspired CEO Whitney Beatty and COO Ebony Andersen to become a part of the change by opening the nation’s first dispensary focused on the needs of women of color. On October 29th, Josephine & Billie’s, a one-of-a-kind speakeasy-style cannabis retail space, opened its doors in Los Angeles, California.
The entire theme pays homage to Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday, whose careers were impacted after they were persecuted for using cannabis during the prohibition era. The concept was inspired by “tea pads” which were common in Black communities in the 1920s and 1930s, where people gathered to listen to music and enjoy cannabis.
Beatty’s goal was to open a dispensary that would cater to women of color while also honoring the history of black cannabis. “For years, the war on drugs has disproportionately disenfranchised people of color. And we are not participating in this space in terms of legalization. Black and brown people own less than 1% of all licensed businesses. Despite that fact this industry was built on the backs of our people.”
The speakeasy is the first of its kind in