A new, limited-edition collection of cannabis products that will go on sale on 4/20 celebrates women-owned brands. Called the Pink Box Project, the curated collection will retail for $60 and has over 12 items covering cannabis flower, edibles, bath products, and accessories.
The project’s founder, Ebony Andersen, says she was inspired by her own experience in the industry and wanted to celebrate people like herself. Andersen is the co-founder (with Whitney Beatty) and CEO of LA social equity dispensary Josephine & Billie’s.
“Too often, our voices are silenced, and our contributions are not valued. In honor of my 40th birthday, I wanted to remind the women in this industry and everywhere that women matter,” she said.
“We must be bold and celebrate ourselves and each other,” Andersen said.
The idea was inspired by a similar project in February that Andersen conceived and coordinated called the Black Box Project, which highlighted Black-owned cannabis brands.
“It was a curated box of premium cannabis products to demonstrate how we can create an inclusive supply chain and bring quality cannabis to the community at an affordable price,” Andersen said of the Black Box.
The box was a success.
“We sold out in all four social equity retailers within hours,” Andersen said. Interest in the Black Box inspired her to take a similar approach for March and April.
“We decided to bring the best women we know in cannabis together during March, Women’s Month, and instantly knew we had to do the Pink Box,” she said.
Andersen said she wanted to make a little room around big April holidays to acknowledge the contributions of women like herself.
“My birthday is April 17th, and every year it’s overshadowed by Easter. It’s like, damn, Jesus, I can’t ever be great next to you,” Andersen joked.
“And now that I’m in cannabis, my birthday gets trumped by 4/20 preparation. I spend it trapped in METRC hell,” she said.
“This year I decided I wanted to celebrate all the women in the industry who constantly make sacrifices for their families, businesses, and this industry. What better day to shatter a ceiling and make cannabis retail history than the biggest retail day of the year?” Andersen said.
4/20 has been, for several years in a row, the biggest single day of sales for cannabis dispensaries in California, akin to Black Friday in retail. The Pink Box will draw shopper’s awareness to this key collection of brands on the most prominent day of cannabis sales.
In a male-dominated industry, Andersen aims to show the power of up-and-coming women-owned brands.
“I hope the industry as a whole recognizes the power of women. Together, we bring some of the best products this industry offers, and our voices must be heard,” Andersen said.
The box also works to create a network of women in cannabis who can promote and support each other’s work.
“Working together, we will figure out how to get the funding needed to scale our businesses with or without the support of the ‘Chads,'” she said.
“Look out, because we are blazing trails and burning down the systems of patriarchy along the way,” Andersen said.
The Pink Box goes on sale this Wednesday, 4/20, at Josephine & Billie’s, Wyllow, and 64 & Hope dispensaries.
The Pink Box
Women-owned cannabis brands that you should pay attention to. Biographies below were provided by the brand owners.
Hailing from Salinas, California, Humo is on a mission to eliminate the stigma surrounding cannabis in the Latino community by celebrating their rich cultural history with the plant and normalizing its daily use. Their craft cannabis is sustainably grown in a Smart Greenhouse powered by their parent company POSIBL’s best-in-class climate control that’s far more efficient than indoor grows. Susie Plascencia is a Latina journalist, entrepreneur, and cannabis advocate. In late 2021, she partnered with POSIBL Project to develop Humo, California’s Mexican American owned cannabis brand centered on the culture and representation of the Latino community. She currently serves as Brand Partner for Humo, leading in brand development, marketing and sales. She is passionate about Latina representation in the cannabis industry and founded Latinas in Cannabis on Instagram, a nationally recognized online community that uplifts, celebrates, and connects Latina entrepreneurs, content creators, educators, and advocates. Susie was named one of Merry Jane’s Cannabis Power Players of 2020 and recognized in the LA Times for her community activism. Humo website, Humo Instagram.
Founded by a black woman – a social equity license holder that has risen to the executive level in corporate cannabis and supported by a talented team of industry veterans, Biko is a vehicle for underrepresented excellence to thrive. The name Biko means “please” in the Nigerian Igbo language and celebrates the founder’s heritage. Timeka Drew is an operating social equity license holder and seasoned cannabis industry executive. She is the recipient of a social equity retail storefront license in LA and is the founder and CEO of Biko, a California cannabis brand focused on producing luxurious, effective products. She sits on the Board of the Cannabis Equity Retailers Association (CERA) and Social Equity LA. She is a member of the Equity Trade Certification (ETC) Leadership Coalition, the ETC Policy Committee, and the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association (SEOWA). She entered the cannabis industry in the early 2000’s as a medical patient and advocate. Biko Flower Instagram, Timeka Drew Instagram, Biko Flower website.
Wyllow (flower & retailer)
Wyllow is a Los Angeles-based bi-cultural, woman-owned cannabis brand that offers a premium selection of rare cultivars and reimagines how people get to know cannabis products through its visionary and immersive new dispensary experience. Wyllow was founded by Camille Roistacher who grew up in Pasadena and knew early in her career that her future was in cannabis. Camille’s perspective as a bi-cultural woman of color, wife and mother informs her approach to entrepreneurship. Today she serves as CEO of Wyllow guiding the brand’s growth, and vertical integration from a pandemic startup to a multi-faceted cannabis business. Wyllow website, Wyllow Instagram.
Queen Mary (edibles)
Queen Mary is a Social Equity Cannabis Brand founded by a WOC. Our purpose is for women to utilize cannabis as a natural alternative to addictive prescriptions. Our products are vegan, full spectrum rosin, fast-acting nano, and discrete. Queen Mary is more than a brand, it’s a homage to today’s woman. Tiana Woodruff is a Tier 1 Social Equity Recipient in LA, and proud to be the first generation in her family to graduate college. She started Queen Mary, a cannabis brand designed for today’s hard-working everyday women. She has witnessed the war on drugs and personally experienced the strain and disproportionate impact it had on her friends, family and neighbors firsthand. Queen Mary website.
Garden Society (edibles)
Women-owned Garden Society is a craft cannabis company based in Sonoma County, California. Inspired by the surrounding wine country, Garden Society strives for exceedingly great products, made with uncompromising quality, that turn down the daily chaos and turn up the joy. The company’s effect-based, full spectrum edibles and sun-grown pre-roll Rosettes connect responsible farming, sustainable ingredients, and strain-specific cannabis. Erin Gore, Founder and CEO of Garden Society in Cloverdale, CA, is a winner of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Women in Business Awards. Garden Society Website, Garden Society Instagram.
Om (edibles & bath)
Om is an award-winning legacy cannabis brand located in The Bay Area of Northern California. Female founded, focused, and operated, Om is most passionate about cannabis wellness and hydrotherapy. Om products are proudly full spectrum, made with natural ingredients, and chemical free. Maya Elisabeth is the CEO and founder of OM, an award winning Cannabis company specializing in edibles, tinctures and topicals. Om website, Om Instagram.
Pure Beauty (flower)
Started in 2017, Pure Beauty is a women-owned cannabis brand. Pure Beauty has 24,000 square feet of indoor cultivation in Sacramento. Women and minorities make up more than 65 percent of the Pure Beauty team. Imelda Walavalkar and her co-founders Irwin Matutina and Tracy Anderson. Walavalkar studied social justice and began her career working with nonprofits serving formerly incarcerated people. She pivoted in her career and started a catering business before launching Pure Beauty. Pure Beauty website, Pure Beauty Instagram.
Kush Queen (bath)
In less than three years, Olivia Alexander has grown Kush Queen into a multi-million dollar, multifaceted brand carrying only the finest in both CBD-only, and THC-infused products. The Kush Queen product line includes award-winning bath bombs, pain relief lotions, edibles, wellness supplements, and skincare. Alexander was one of the largest digital influencers in cannabis with over 2.5 million followers and an average of 100 million monthly impressions. Kush Queen Cannabis was born out of The Crystal Cult and @TheKushQueens online community celebrating women who love cannabis. Kush Queen website, Kush Queen Instagram.
House of Tyne (battery)
House of Tyne is a black-woman-owned vape battery company based in Los Angeles. After not finding cannabis accessories in the market that reflected her style, founder Ralina Shaw set out to create a line of sleek, reliable batteries for the modern smoker. House of Tyne website. House of Tyne Instagram.
Potli is Asian woman owned and 100% women run! Our founder Felicity Chen is a third generation sauces and spice maker who launched Potli as a way to promote healthy living & healing through food and cannabis. Potli expands upon Felicity’s heritage and passion for functional ingredients by creating high-quality, craftsman kitchen staples (like honey and sriracha) infused with full-spectrum, sungrown cannabis for everyday use. Potli is a proud Certified Equity Trade company, demonstrating our commitment to social justice and equality, and meaning that our products are ethically sourced and manufactured too! Potli website, Potli Instagram.
High Gorgeous creates luxurious products that empower women to feel confident while using cannabis. Founded by two sisters, High Gorgeous offers a variety of topicals, tinctures, and concentrates that are specially formulated to address the reasons women use cannabis the most. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Krystal Kitahara, attended Fresno State where she started her first company on campus before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Entrepreneurship. With a love for business and cannabis, Krystal walked away from a media sales career in 2014 to launch her first cannabis brand, Yummi Karma. After receiving the first manufacturing license in Orange County, CA, Yummi Karma revolutionized the industry with savory edibles and California’s first line of tinctures. In 2016, Krystal sought to create a brand that embodied her vision to target women’s health and launched High Gorgeous with a lineup of infused beauty products. High Gorgeous website, High Gorgeous Instagram.
Female-led cannabis lifestyle brand, Leune, aims to transcend the cannabis culture landscape with purpose-driven and design-forward plant products. CEO and founder Nidhi Lucky Handa was dissatisfied with the cannabis industry’s offerings and sought to create a brand that would appeal to a wider demographic. So, she founded Leune in 2018. Since then, the cannabis brand has raised awareness of social injustice, and elevated the conversations surrounding cannabis culture. Leune website, Leune Instagram.
The Pink Box will be available at the following women-owned dispensaries:
Sixty-Four & Hope (retailer)
Sixty-Four & Hope is a wellness-focused cannabis store rooted in culture that elevates rich, local voices through the collaboration of best-in-class products and immersive sensory events. We honor the plant culture that came before us with an enlightened, informed, & interactive store experience that emphasizes a product-first mentality. Sixty-Four & Hope website, Sixty-Four and Hope Instagram.
Sixty-Four & Hope Mid City (retailer)
Store owner Aja Allen is a luxury retail general manager with years of experience managing high-volume brands. Born & raised in South Central, it’s always been a dream to inspire those who come from my neighborhood & look like me. The social equity licensee is also the owner-operator of Sixty Four & Hope, Mid-City, a wellness-focused dispensary rooted in a culture that elevates rich, local voices through the collaboration of best-in-class products and immersive sensory events. Aja Allen Instagram.
Sixty-Four & Hope Melrose (retailer)
Store owner Rhavin L is a Del Rey Urban Real Estate agent specializing in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, and South Los Angeles. She also has over a decade of experience in Entertainment, both behind and in front of the camera. The social equity licensee is also the owner-operator of Sixty-Four & Hope, Melrose District, a wellness-focused dispensary rooted in a culture that elevates rich, local voices through the collaboration of best-in-class products and immersive sensory events.
Josephine & Billie’s (retailer)
Located in South LA, Josephine & Billie’s is the nation’s first cannabis dispensary focused on the needs of Women of Color. Dedicated to being a communal, creative and safe space for cannabis education and exploration, Josephine & Billie’s “Teapad,” delivers a unique and sexy jazz age vibe to retail consumers. The store is a modern throwback to the timeless sprits of Josephine Baker and Billie Holiday, and specializes in offering exciting first in class in-store experiences that allow connoisseurs to connect and learn more about the plant. Josephine & Billie’s website, Josephine & Billie’s Instagram.
Whitney Beatty is a dynamic former reality television development exec turned cannabis entrepreneur. Her cannabis storage company Apothecarry Brands, Inc. was selected for the first cohort of Canopy San Diego cannabis business accelerator and won the ArcView Groups 2017 Los Angeles pitch prize. She also serves as founder & CEO of Josephine & Billie’s, the first dispensary focused on the recreational and medicinal needs of women of color, which was selected as the first investment for the TPCO Social Equity Fund. Whitney is a fierce advocate for equity and women of color in the cannabis space, and serves as VP for Supernova Women and the Cannabis Equity Retailers Association. Whitney Beatty Instagram.
Ebony Andersen has over 15 years of experience as a land-use professional. At her consultancy firm, Ejma Planning and Development, she routinely works with special interest groups and legislative lobbyists on environmentally controversial or politically sensitive projects, including medicinal and adult-use cannabis programs in the Los Angeles region. She is known for helping operators convert their traditional or start-up cannabis businesses into fully functional, compliant operations. Her knowledge, expertise, and work ethic have dubbed her the “Olive Pope” of planning because she can execute complicated and convoluted projects when others cannot. Andersen is a partner and Chief Operations and Compliance Officer of both Josephine & Billie’s, the country’s first cannabis retail experience designed by and for women and Ball Family Farms, the first vertically integrated, black-owned, commercial indoor grow facility in Los Angeles. As COO, Andersen is behind the companies’ strategic design and planning, she guides business development, manages construction, troubleshoots roadblocks, and satisfies compliance standards. Ebony Andersen Instagram.