Los Angeles, California, will soon be home to the nation’s first black women-owned cannabis speakeasy. Josephine & Billie’s plans to open its doors in 2021, offering a cannabis dispensary that echoes a Prohibition-era jazz lounge. The space 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, for which Jay-Z is Chief Visionary Officer. The speakeasy’s founders, CEO Whitney Beatty and Ebony Andersen, COO, are both mothers and entrepreneurs. They decided to name the dispensary after legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker, an actress, dancer, entertainer, civil rights activist, and French Resistance revolutionary.
“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,” CEO Whitney Beatty tells Forbes. “They stand for strength in the face of adversity, and more importantly, healing. Cannabis is a plant. That