Inside the dispensary: LA’s Josephine & Billie’s is officially open
Josephine & Billie’s has officially opened its doors.
Entering Josephine & Billies, located at 1535 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in LA, is like entering a time capsule that takes you back to the days when Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday were serenading people everywhere.
Located in South Los Angeles, formerly known as South Central, Josephine & Billie’s is dedicated to being an educational space and community where women of color and their allies feel safe and welcome amidst a unique speakeasy-style cannabis retail concept.
The Josephine & Billie’s experience
We are not only making industry history; we are changing cannabis culture! We have demonstrated that women in cannabis are brilliant, innovative, and powerful.Ebony Andersen
The concept of Josephine & Billie’s is inspired by tea pads that existed in Black communities in the 1920s and 30s. And if Josephine and Billie could see what Whitney Beatty and Ebony Andersen have created, they’d be proud.
The female minority-owned and operated cannabis dispensary allows consumers to come in, pick up a shopping basket, and browse products from other Black, brown, and LGBTQ+ founded and owned cannabis brands while keeping a focus on education and wellbeing.
Rather than focusing on strain names and potency, much of the discussion at Josephine & Billie’s is centered around individual needs and desired effects.
The space features a terpene bar with terpene education, sniff samples, and products that come from and speak to the communities that Josephine & Billie’s serves. Product lines like Monogram, Cann, Tical, and Ball Family Farms line the shelves, and there’s no shortage of books to browse or buy and learn about plant medicine.
A call changed it all
During the grand opening of Josephine & Billie’s, Leafly chatted with the owners regarding their journey and what it felt like to be there in the moment, experiencing their long-awaited opening.
With tears in her eyes, Whitney Beatty described the moment as “the arrival.”
She explained that it meant everything for her to have a place where women of color and allies in the industry can showcase their products and a place where consumers of color and allies can find brands that speak to them.
Co-founder Ebony Andersen explains the moment they heard that they were getting investment from The Parent Company.
“I was in traffic (as always) when we got the news. Whitney called me ecstatic. I remember thinking, ‘OMG, is this really going to happen?’ I am by far the more stoic and cynical of the two of us, so I immediately hit the internet to research everything I could find about TPCO and the people involved,” she says.
“I had had the pleasure of meeting some of the Roc Nation/Monogram execs before the forming of TPCO but knew very little about the investment group. Given the predatory practices of many investors in social equity licenses, I was skeptical of everyone’s motives. To my delight, TPCO was the real deal! “
Whitney follows up with her own reply.
“I started crying. I couldn’t believe it. I almost slid down the wall in shock. It was a defining career moment. My hands were shaking so much it was hard to call my team to let them know.”
Opening doors for customers and equity
Before we parted ways, Whitney elaborated on what it was like to see Josephine & Billie’s come to fruition.
“It’s both amazing and powerful. Women of color deserve a safe space for cannabis education, consumption, and healing. We are excited to climb this mountain. We are building more than a dispensary. We are building an equity model for the cannabis industry to follow,” she says.
Women of color in (and visiting) Los Angeles now have the opportunity to get their flowers from a cannabis dispensary made by and for them.
Just don’t forget to tell them Billie sent you.