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Celebrating Black History Month with Black Owned in Cannabis, Los Angeles: The Black Box Project

Celebrating Black History Month with Black Owned in Cannabis, Los Angeles: The Black Box Project

If the statement: it takes a village, had an image, it would be the image of the BLACK BOX PROJECT. Intentionally launched during black history month: February 11, 2022, the BLACK BOX PROJECT is a passion project led by the Olivia Pope of Cannabis, Ebony Andersen, who says: “We figured what better way to celebrate Black history than to make it.”

What is the Black Box Project

The BLACK BOX PROJECT was founded by Los Angeles-based dispensaries and brands to highlight the importance of social equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry. The intent is to support black-owned cannabis businesses while creating unity and support amongst the BLACK cannabis community. 

The black box is loaded with black-owned brands out of California, and though the contents in the box are valued at $200, the black box is available for only $49.50. Ebony stated: 

“The BLACK BOX PROJECT curates overlooked brands and highlights them so that those looking to support equity in cannabis can easily source products directly from equity-centered brands.” 

Black-Owned Brands in the Box and Where the Black Box Can be Found

The BLACK BOX PROJECT can be found in California, at:

  • Josephine & Billie’s
  • Gorilla Wellness RX
  • Sixty Four & Hope, Mid-City
  • Sixty Four & Hope, Melrose District

The brands included in the BLACK BOX PROJECT are:

  • Ball Family Farms
  • Wyllow
  • Biko
  • Justice Tree
  • House of Tyne
  • Viola
  • Gorilla RX
  • Dose of Saucy 

The Black Box Project Q & A with Ebony Andersen

Photo Credit: the BLACK BOX PROJECT

Please tell me about the inspiration behind THE BLACK BOX PROJECT?

“The inspiration for the box came from a brand collab centered around Black history month that went badly. In corporate America, white companies often use Black history month to pander to the Black community while failing to pay Black creatives and producers their worth. We have all had that experience where another cannabis brand uses our culture, products, likeness, and history to profit. It continues to be a problem within the cannabis community. We felt very exploited by the situation, among others, and felt it was time to introduce premium Black cannabis to our community at an affordable price.”

How were the brands included/selected?

“I am the Anna Wintour of THE BLACK BOX PROJECT! The original collaborations were selected based on their ability to meet demand. We looked at premium Black brands that could fulfill what we needed. That quickly changed when we realized we were overlooking the start-up cannabis brands. Essentially we ended up with two types of brands in the box; we have our Black cannabis OGs like Ball Family Farms, Viola, and Gorilla RX. And then we have our new break-out brands like House of Tyne, Biko, and Wyllow.” 

What is the mission/ driving force of the BLACK BOX PROJECT?

“To highlight the importance of equity and inclusion in cannabis while creating unity and support amongst the Black cannabis community. It also provides an opportunity to encourage Angelenos to buy Black in February while introducing them to the quality and culture brought to the industry by Black-owned brands.”

Is the BLACK BOX PROJECT just a project, or, will this be permanent? 

“We will see if the box becomes permanent, but it will be available next February and possibly for other culturally significant dates throughout the year. I have also been approached to curate boxes for other underrepresented groups such as THE BROWN BOX and THE PINK BOX. Nothing is confirmed yet, but we will see how it goes!”

Would the items in the BLACK BOX change?

“Initially, the idea was to have one box for Black History Month. But due to the OVERWHELMING support, we will have subsequent boxes. Adding new brands to the subsequent releases is intentional as Black, women-owned, and POC brands do not get the visibility they deserve in the space.”

Who designed the box? 

“The box design was led by THE BLACK BOX PROJECT creative team with execution by Hera Ventures, JNF Creative, and Marqui Jordan.” 

I’ll be reviewing the products in the Black box for a follow-up piece; is there an order of consumption that you recommend? Anything I should try first and/or save for last? 

“I am a flower girl, so I have to say that my favorite products are the Wyllow pre-rolls. I would start there, and I would end with Daniel Larousso. It’s a heavy hitter, so I would save it for when you don’t have to be functional. I also think it’s really special that we got to launch House of Tyne, another Black woman brand, in THE BLACK BOX.” 

Are you all hoping to see more of this type of collaboration across the country? 

“Absolutely. I think it’s essential that we pull our resources and elevate our voices. THE BLACK BOX PROJECT shows how brands can work collaboratively to leverage relationships for culturally significant and profitable projects.” 

Feature photo credit: the BLACK BOX PROJECT

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