Let us introduce you to Josephine & Billie’s, Los Angeles’s first Black-woman owned cannabis dispensary. The speakeasy, owned by Whitney Beatty and Ebony Andersen, opened in late 2021, offering a cannabis dispensary that mimics a Prohibition-era jazz lounge of the 1920’s & ‘30’s. The owners wanted to create a welcoming and educational retail experience for women of color. In an interview with Black Enterprise, Andersen noted, “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.”
According to Forbes, “Josephine and Billie’s is the first investment by The Parent Company (TPCO)’s cannabis social equity program, for which Jay-Z is Chief Visionary Officer.” The name, Josephine & Billie’s, was named in honor of jazz singer, Billie Holiday, and actress/activist Josephine Baker. Beatty told Forbes that they were inspired by Baker and Holiday because their lives and careers were negatively affected by “racially tinged prohibition of cannabis and the stigmatization of the plant,” and there for they were drawn to honoring them, their legacy, and what they were fighting for with the legalization of cannabis.
Knowing the health benefits of cannabis – a sleep aid, promoting relaxation, pain relief, etc. – Beatty said that they wanted to curate an experience that was centered around heeling needs and educating Women of Color on its benefits, because not knowing anything about cannabis shouldn’t be a barrier to getting self-care. “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 with Black Enterprise.
Josephine and Billie’s advertises that is offers a broad range of high-quality cannabis products from brands such as Monogram, Cann, Select and Kiva Confections, with a special emphasis on POC-owned, queer-owned, and women-owned brands such as Ball Family Farms, Leune, and California Rolls.
The next time I’m in L.A., I am definitely going to have to check these ladies out! Congratulations Whitney and Ebony!