Josephine & Billie’s, a cannabis dispensary that opened its doors on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard late last month.
In keeping with the L.A. dispensary’s Prohibition-era theme, what visitors first see is a postage-stamp-size shop emblazoned with an Apothecarry sign and stocked with a tightly edited collection of smoking paraphernalia (think bedazzled joint holders, handbag-shaped lighters, globe-shaped water pipes and sweatshirts emblazoned with the all-caps slogan “Buy weed from women”) but nary a cannabis nug, vape pen or THC-infused edible.
Visitors who step up to the shopkeeper and utter the words “Billie sent me” will find themselves ushered through a hidden doorway and into a 1,500-square-foot space stocked — herringbone-patterned floor to chandelier-festooned ceiling — with all manner of cannabis-containing products.
The foyer of Josephine & Billie’s is designed to look like a boutique head shop. Access to the dispensary requires uttering a passphrase. (Lauren Crew / For The Times)
The entirety of the retail concept is a conscious effort to cater specifically to women of color, a cannabis-consuming demographic often overlooked. Founder and chief executive Whitney Beatty and chief operating officer Ebony Andersen know this from firsthand experience.
Beatty, 43, and Andersen, 39,