The very first black-women owned cannabis speakeasy in the nation is about to open in Los Angeles and rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z has something to do with it.
Josephine & Billie’s plans to open its doors this year and will be a cannabis dispensary that echoes a Prohibition-era jazz lounge. The dispensary will be a private club exclusively for BIPOC women of color and allies. In order to gain access to the speakeasy, one must say “Billie sent me.”
Josephine and Billie’s is the first investment by The Parent Company (TPCO)’s cannabis social equity program. This is the company that Jay-Z is the Chief Visionary Officer for.
CEO Whitney Beatty and Ebony Andersen, COO, are the founders of Josephine & Billies and are both mothers and entrepreneurs. They decided to name the dispensary after Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker.
“Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday are our inspirations. Their lives and careers were negatively affected by the racially tinged prohibition of cannabis and the stigmatization of the plant — so in legalization we immediately felt drawn to honoring them, their legacy and what they were resilient in fighting for,” Whitney Beatty told Forbes. “They stand for strength in the face of adversity, and more importantly, healing. Cannabis is a plant. That plant offers a pathway to ease muscle tension, anxiety, insomnia, it offers relaxation. It’s healing.”
“It is a callback to the Jazz age,” says Beatty, “to the pearls and feathers of Josephine and to the poetry of Billie crooning on a rainy evening.”
“We’re re-creating that era with plant medicine,” Beatty says. “We’ve curated an experience that’s centered around recognizable healing needs, like relaxation, better sleep, and pain relief. We want to help Women of Color learn about cannabis — because not being a cannabis expert shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing self-care. In our space, there’s no question not worth asking.”