The largest, vertically integrated cannabis company in California, The Parent Company, is announcing Josephine and Billie’s as the first investment via their social equity venture fund. The fund was established to break down systemic barriers Black, Indigenous people of color and other minority entrepreneurs often face in the now thriving, multi-billion-dollar cannabis industry.
Specifically, The Parent Company is bringing together Jay-Z, entertainment powerhouse Roc Nation, California’s leading direct-to-consumer platform CALIVA and cannabis and hemp manufacturer Left Coast Ventures to form a cannabis industry leader for the post-prohibition era. The goal is to build brands together and pave a new path forward for a cannabis legacy rooted in “equity, access and justice.”
Josephine and Billie’s is an independently owned dispensary and will be one of the first to open as part of the Los Angeles Social Equity Program. It was ranked number 48 out of the first 100 Phase 3 applicants and is expected to open in Q3 of this year.
The retail experience for the dispensary is tailored to women of color, who are often an underserved segment of the legal cannabis market, specifically boasting an educational and welcoming experience for new and experienced customers. It’s brand style has a Speakeasy look inspired by the 1930s jazz era, including underground tea pads of Harlem where people would historically gather to smoke cannabis and listen to jazz music.
The business is located close to USC, Leimert Park and Crenshaw in a part of South L.A. The founder, Whitney Beatty, has a background in entertainment, was one of the only independent, African American applicants within the program and one of the few to hold onto her original location, which helped the dispensary’s permit process and will likely help the store open sooner than later.
The Parent Company Social Equity Ventures was initially funded with $10 million, plus an annual contribution of 2 percent of The Parent Company’s annual net income. It functions as an “internal corporate venture fund” with a mission to invest in and support minority-owned and Black-owned cannabis businesses. The Parent Company plans to manage funds in partnership with an advisory committee, led by Jay-Z and Roc Nation CEO Desiree Perez, in order to leverage the company’s operational leadership to support the next generation of cannabis leaders before, during and after the funding process.