The Rich History of Social Enterprise Tea Pad


The “tea pad” is part of a very rich history of cannabis (marijuana) in the African American community and the jazz scene of the 1920s and 30s. During this time, the United States government launched an aggressive campaign of marijuana prohibition led by Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The campaign had catastrophic impact on black and brown communities for decades to come. Tea Pads were convivial speakeasy style spaces where people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds could come together free from the violence of prohibition.

Jazz great and marijuana enthusiast Ella Fitzgerald

To honor the rich history of these communities and to help remove barriers to entry to a dynamic industry ripe with opportunity, I borrowed the name Tea Pad for a cannabis industry networking group and social enterprise. Proceeds of Tea Pad events support The Tea Pad Scholarship for Minority Entrepreneurship. The Scholarship provides opportunity to learn skills necessary to become a leader, an innovator and an entrepreneur.

Harry Anslinger, the nation's first drug cop

Our logo is named “Eulalia” after jazz great and marijuana enthusiast Cab Calloway’s mother. She was a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland – a Historic Black College and University. Her name was Martha Eulalia Reed.

Join us December 17, 2019 when we host Tea Pad in Washington, DC. Tea Pad Advisory Board member Corey Barnette will kick off a provocative conversation of what social justice in the cannabis industry should like. Corey is a uniquely qualified cannabis industry expert and social justice advocate. Less than 1% of licensed cannabis businesses are owned by African Americans. Corey owns two in DC.

"Eulalia" - Tea Pad logo

More about The Tea Pad Scholarship for Minority Entrepreneurship, sponsorship information and tickets to December Tea Pad in Washington, online at

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