Blunt Q&A: Whitney Beatty, CEO of Apothecarry
Written by Erica Roane
Let’s say you visit your favorite dispensary, get your goods, and go home. Are you going to place your cannabis in a secret drawer or will you take your storage methods to the next level?
Whitney Beatty, CEO of Apothecarry believes that cannabis storage is just as important as the strains you choose.
Read below to learn more about how you should store your cannabis, how she got started in the business, financing, and how she leverages her professional background to win.
What is Apothecarry?
Apothecarry is a sleek and sexy carrying solution and humidor for Cannabis connoisseurs. If you keep your wine in a wine fridge, your liquor in bars why would you place your high-end Cannabis in a shoe box?
I believe that consuming Cannabis is a ritual and it is a path to mindfulness, so also have to be careful about how you store cannabis.
The case can sit on your counter, no one will know what’s in it until you tell them. They won’t smell your cannabis the moment you walk into your home. It allows you to live the lifestyle that you prefer, the best way possible.
What are the benefits to cannabis consumers who use Apothecarry?
We offer safety, our boxes have key and combination locks. If you have kids, dogs, grandparents, or roommates (who never buy) they can’t get access to your cannabis.
We also offer humidity via our humidity control lids and jars. Cannabis is a plant and therefore has the ability to mold, dry up, and have the trichomes fall off.
Since trichomes provide that euphoric feeling, you could be reducing your medical benefits and having a harsher smoking experience when you’re not storing your cannabis properly. Also if you’re spending money on high quality weed and not storing it correctly, you could have purchased lower quality weed to begin with.
Our boxes also offer storage solutions. On the other side of the box you’re going to find a grinder, a tray in place, and a nook where you can keep your lighter and rolling papers.
We also have a joint holder so that you can put that in your bag and take it on the go. We have places where you can put your oil canisters upright so that the oil does not spill out of them.
Out of all of the available avenues within the cannabis industry, what made you want to get into storage cases?
I believe you get into things based on what you know and what you’re passionate about.
I've always been interested in art and design. I believe in beautiful interiors and beautiful exteriors, these are the things that make me happy.
There is also a power to being on the ancillary side of the cannabis industry. The barrier to entry is lower, which means it costs less. A dispensary may cost a half million dollars to get things off the ground. I didn’t have to have that much starting off, and I didn’t have to get a license.
I also realized that no matter what happens on the plant-side of the business, people will always need storage options.
What are your thoughts on social equity and cannabusiness?
I believe that it is super important for more people of color to enter into the cannabis space.
Our communities have been the most disenfranchised from the war on drugs. Now that cannabis is becoming legal, black men are still in jail while white men have dispensaries on every corner. There is opportunity to build generational wealth and create opportunities that were stolen from our community due to the war on drugs.
Black and white people consume cannabis at the same rate but we’re 4x more likely to be arrested for it. It’s imperative that we are here, and we’re able to use this money to repair our communities.
As a black woman in the cannabis industry, what do you think are some of the advantages that you have?
There is a sense of community amongst us. There aren’t a ton of us. We definitely cape for each other keep each other abreast on what’s important. Even during events like SXSW, we all knew each other. I think that's extremely powerful.
What personal and professional advantages do you think prepared you for a career in cannabis?
I’m distinctive. There aren’t a lot of black women in rooms, therefore it’s easy to pick me out.
My background is in the entertainment industry therefore I have a lot of experience working on branded programming. I understand demographics, and especially higher-end demographics. I minored in art history in college.
Even as a fundraiser, I have to acknowledge the fact that I had a great career in the entertainment industry which afforded me the opportunity to own my home which I then sold to start this business. Not everyone has these advantages so I have to acknowledge that.
Regarding financing, which is often the biggest barrier to entry, what barriers have you experienced and how did you overcome them?
Financing is hard in the cannabis space. Based on it being federally illegal, you can only get financing from venture capitalists or angel investors. And VC numbers aren’t too great when it comes to investing in women, and especially women of color.
It’s pretty clear that they are giving less than 2% financing to women and less than .0006% to black women. Considering all industries, only 38 black women have ever been able to raise over a million dollars in funding.
The angel side is less institutional however you’re working person-to-person. But now we have things such as implicit bias. On average, investors like to invest in people who look like them. If I’m a 60 year old white man I want to invest in someone who reminds me of myself when I was young and scrappy. They believe in those people and they trust those people.
They often don’t think of themselves as a black woman. I have to overcome those types of barriers. It’s also a well-known fact that investors tend to ask more negative-based questions to women, where they ask men what they will do with success.
Since starting Apothecarry, how has your approach to funding evolved?
Although I’ve raised funds, I am still out here raising. I have to believe in my brand. I used to go into fundraising like “please sir, can I have some money?” Now I am able to present my brand from a more powerful place like “Hey, I’m giving you an opportunity here.”
I also realize as a black woman I have to play with the fact that people tend to feel intimidated at times. So I make sure I mitigate those things in order to bring in the cash to continuously grow this business.
Where do you see Apothecarry in three years?
I see Apothecarry as a lifestyle brand that is on shelves at high-end locations everywhere. I think that’s the future of the brand. I think that you find us utilized by large growers who believe in quality packaging and quality storage, and a fuller cannabis experience.
How does one learn more about Apothecarry?
Visit us online at or on Instagram and Facebook. Please check us out, join our community. Tell us what matters to you. That really helps us get to know our customer base and create things that matter.