Whitney Beatty has always been a boss. Before she got into the cannabis industry, she had a 15-year career in entertainment that culminated with her serving as the Senior Vice President of Development at Warner Brothers. Now, as the founder and CEO of Apothecarry Brands and the gorgeous LA-based dispensary Josephine & Billie's, it's clear Whitney Beatty has found her calling in cannabis. What's more, she's making room at the table by uplifting voices and stories in the Black community.
“One thing we don't talk about enough is one of the results of the war on drugs: the PTSD that exists within communities of color about cannabis,” Beatty shared. “When you've seen doors get kicked in in your community and people get hurt, people get torn away from their families, opportunities get stolen, and access to resources get taken away … it makes people really reluctant to try the plant, even in an era of legalization. Women of color are the most stressed cohort out there. That's what data shows us. We are the least likely to have access to healthcare and even fill prescriptions, which means that having the opportunity and access to legal cannabis for medicinal use is critical.”
Beatty's advocacy and diligence for representation — especially in cannabis — led to a passion for education. This shows in the care taken to help customers at Josephine & Billie's. “It is designed by and for women of color,” Beatty said. “We know that women want to know: How is this plant going to affect me? How is it going to make me feel? And how is it going to make my life better?”
Named after Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday — two Black women who were persecuted for their cannabis consumption — the dispensary has opened up much-needed conversations around fair and inclusive access to the plant. “As a mom, there's almost an obligation to also be an advocate in this space. Communities of color have been disproportionately disenfranchised by the war on drugs for years, and it's really important that we are participants in this legal industry. So I started running my mouth, and I haven't stopped since,” Beatty said.
“If you ask my son, he will tell you that his mom sells plant medicine, and that helps people and women of color. When he grows up, he wants to help women of color, too. And that's an amazing thing. But it also scares me because I know what he does not. That is, people still have a stigma against this plant, and they still have a huge stigma against little Brown boys.”
In addition to continuing to stand up for the community, Beatty has plans to include a smoking lounge in the future and expand the dispensary's educational resources with larger events. A self-proclaimed “CBD-head,” she will also be judging the CBD category at this year's Emerald Cup. If her track record is any indication, this is just the beginning of Beatty's legacy in cannabis.
Here are the five weed products Whitney Beatty can't live without.
One of Beatty's favorite edibles is Wana's 2:1 CBD:THC gummies. Find them in a yuzu sour flavor.
Drew Martin joints
Gorgeously packaged in artistic 4-packs, Drew Martin joints blend cannabis flower with unique herbs such as damiana, Yerba santa, passionflower, and more.
Blaqstar Farms flower
A flower brand focused on social equity, Blaqstar Farms' weed is grown without pesticides and boosts the message of equal and fair access in the cannabis space.
Cosmic Edibles infused cookie dough
Featuring vegan cookie doughs with up to 100 milligrams THC per package, Cosmic Edibles offers a creative take on the regular chocolates and gummies you see lining dispensary shelves.
Higher Edibles infused canna-corn
Women-led, Higher Edibles' infused canna corn is a weedy take on classic corn nuts. Find them in numerous flavors including BBQ, cheddar, ranch, rosemary, and more.