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Jay Z's Investment Firm Backs Minority-Led Cannabis Speakeasy

Josephine & Billie's, founded and operated by Black women, is the first for The Parent Company's social equity fund.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga

TPCO Holding Corp. (NEO: GRAM.U) (OTCQX:GRAMF), which does business as The Parent Company, has chosen Josephine & Billie's as its first social equity corporate venture fund investment.

The investment will help the Los Angeles-based cannabis brand and retail concept to open its first store before the end of the year.

Related: Jay-Z Sets Up a $10 Million Seed Fund for Minority-Owned Cannabis Businesses

Filling the Void

Josephine & Billie's, founded and led by Black women, was developed to create a welcoming and educational retail experience for women of color and to fill the void facing this demographic in the L.A. marketplace. The shop, with its speakeasy-style cannabis retail concept inspired by the Jazz Age, will feature a wide range of products from POC-owned and women-owned brands, along with The Parent Company’s favorites.

"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," Josephine & Billie's founder Whitney Beatty said on Thursday.

Related: Oakland's Social Equity Programs Leave Every Other City in the Dust

Building an Equitable and Diverse Industry

The San Jose, California-based company set up the social equity fund – launched with an investment from rapper Jay Z – to support entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis space by providing the capital and mentorship needed to build "generational wealth" in a "more equitable and diverse cannabis industry."

The social equity venture secured initial funding of $10 million, plus 2% of all future net income. Last week, the company named the members of the fund's advisory board, which, include  George Atallah, Marcia Dyson, Jeff Gray, Faith Leach, Carmen Perez, Mary Pryor and Angela Rye.

Parent Company CEO Steve Allan praised Beatty's mission to create a space 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," Allan said.