SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TPCO Holding Co. (“The Parent Company” or the “Company”) (NEO: GRAM.U) (OTCQX: GRAMF), California’s leading vertically integrated cannabis company, is pleased to announce that it has selected Josephine & Billie’s, a Los Angeles-based cannabis brand and retail concept, as the Company’s first social equity corporate venture fund investment. Founded and led by Black women, Josephine & Billie’s was developed to create a welcoming and educational retail experience for Women of Color and to fill a void existing for this demographic within the L.A. marketplace. With the Company’s investment, Josephine & Billie’s is expected to open its first retail location before the end of the year. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.
As the first of its kind in the United States, Josephine and Billie’s will offer a unique speakeasy-style cannabis retail concept inspired by the Jazz Age, taking consumers back to the ‘tea pads’ that existed in Black communities in the 20s and 30s. It was there that guests were able to enjoy jazz and cannabis while feeling connected to one another, relaxed, valued and safe during a tumultuous time. Josephine & Billie’s seeks to re-create these moments and has curated an experience centered around the product and community-based needs of Women of Color. This includes carrying a wide range of products from POC-owned and women-owned brands, along with favorites from The Parent Company’s impressive portfolio products. Josephine & Billie’s expects to use its space to host intimate wellness and cultural events to continue to create a space for Women of Color within the cannabis community.
"We are so pleased to partner with The Parent Company to bring Josephine & Billie's to life and create a cannabis experience led by and for Women of Color – the first of its kind in the world,” said Josephine & Billie’s founder Whitney Beatty. “Communities of Color have been disproportionately disenfranchised by the War on Drugs, and in legalization, these individuals deserve prioritization to access the healing properties of cannabis. The Parent Company shares this vision for a more equitable cannabis marketplace, and I know that together, we have the opportunity to change lives.”
“We are committed to using our resources and leadership position to play a significant role in molding a more inclusive cannabis community,” said The Parent Company CEO Steve Allan. “Whitney is a singular leader in cannabis with a truly standout mission – creating a space specifically for Women of Color. Her innovative business plan is the perfect complement to our growing omnichannel footprint, and Whitney herself is exactly the kind of visionary entrepreneur for whom our social equity fund aims to clear the path to success and leadership in this complicated and challenging industry.”
With initial funding of $10 million, plus 2% of all future net income, The Parent Company’s social equity corporate venture fund seeks to discover and develop the industry’s future entrepreneurs of color, offering them the capital and mentorship necessary to build generational wealth as part of a more equitable and diverse cannabis industry. The Parent Company manages the fund in partnership with an advisory committee led by The Parent Company Chief Visionary Officer, Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter, and Chief Social Equity Officer, Desiree Perez, leveraging the company’s operational expertise and thought leadership to support the next wave of cannabis entrepreneurs before, during and after the funding process.
About The Parent Company:
The Parent Company (TPCO Holding Corp.) (NEO: GRAM.U) (OTCQX: GRAMF) is California's leading vertically integrated cannabis company combining best-in-class operations with leading voices in popular culture and social impact. The Parent Company brings together global icon and entrepreneur Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter, entertainment powerhouse ROC NATION, California's leading direct-to-consumer platform CALIVA, and leading cannabis manufacturer, LEFT COAST VENTURES, to form a cannabis industry leader for the post-prohibition era. Chief Visionary Officer Shawn "JAY-Z" Carter, one of the most recognized and celebrated entrepreneurs of our time, guides The Parent Company's brand strategy in partnership with ROC NATION, the world's preeminent entertainment company with a roster of culture-making artists, athletes, and influencers. The brands we build together will pave a new path forward for a legacy rooted in equity, access, and justice.
About Josephine & Billie’s:
Women founded and led, Josephine and Billie’s is LA’s first cannabis speakeasy that gives Women of Color an experience of cannabis that doesn’t exist anywhere else. It’s inclusive, communal and puts the needs of Women of Color at the forefront. Our cannabis speakeasy – the first of its kind in the U.S. – is a modern-day callback to the Jazz age, from the pearls and feathers of Josephine Baker to the poetry of Billie Holiday. It’s a trip back to the ‘tea pads’ in Black communities of the 20s and 30s where people listen to music and enjoy cannabis while feeling connected, relaxed, valued and safe. Josephine and Billie’s carries product lines that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve with intention and include Black and Brown owned brands, and price points for everyone from the dabbler to connoisseur. In our space, there’s no question not worth asking. Our M.O. is we got you, sis. The company is led by CEO, Whitney Beatty & COO, Ebony Andersen.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities legislation which reflects The Parent Company’s current expectations regarding future events. The words “will”, “expects”, “intends” and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words.
Specific forward-looking information contained in this press release includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning The Parent Company’s commitment to future social equity initiatives. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond The Parent Company’s control, which could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by such forward looking information. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: changes in general economic, business and political conditions, changes in applicable laws, the U.S. and Canadian regulatory landscapes and enforcement related to cannabis, changes in public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry, reliance on the expertise and judgment of senior management, as well as the factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in The Parent Company’s Annual Information Form dated March 25, 2021, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The Parent Company undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by applicable law.
Caution Regarding Cannabis Operations in the United States
Investors should note that there are significant legal restrictions and regulations that govern the cannabis industry in the United States. Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal under federal law in the United States to, among other things, cultivate, distribute or possess cannabis in the United States. Financial transactions involving proceeds generated by, or intended to promote, cannabis-related business activities in the United States may form the basis for prosecution under applicable U.S. federal money laundering legislation. While the approach to enforcement of such laws by the federal government in the United States has trended toward non-enforcement against individuals and businesses that comply with medical or adult-use cannabis programs in states where such programs are legal, strict compliance with state laws with respect to cannabis will neither absolve The Parent Company of liability under U.S. federal law, nor will it provide a defense to any federal proceeding which may be brought against the Company. The enforcement of federal laws in the United States is a significant risk to the business of The Parent Company and any proceedings brought against the Company thereunder may adversely affect the Company’s operations and financial performance.