DENVER– The National Hispanic Cannabis Council launched Thursday, aimed at empowering the U.S. Hispanic community through education, entrepreneurialism, and economic opportunity. With 36 states, having already legalized cannabis for medical use, the new national nonprofit organization aims to raise awareness around cannabis-related health, economic, and legal issues as well as promote participation and leadership in the legal cannabis industry, where Hispanics are currently underrepresented. It will also advocate for public policies that support its mission.
“Cannabis prohibition in the U.S. was founded in large part upon prejudice toward Mexican immigrants, and it has disproportionately impacted the Hispanic community ever since,” said Brian Vicente, a founding NHCC board member and partner at national cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP. “The NHCC will work to repair the damage caused by old prohibition policies and to ensure the Hispanic community benefits from the new legal systems coming online to replace them. We are excited to launch this organization at a time of unprecedented economic opportunity in the emerging legal cannabis industry.”
The NHCC will be comprised of individual and business members from across the U.S. and organized through local chapters. It will offer local education and networking events, as well as national opportunities to interact with subject matter experts in the fields of medicine, policy, advocacy, and other areas.
The NHCC was founded by cannabis business leaders representing a variety of prominent companies, including Can It Industries, LLC; Cresco Labs; Folsom and Forge; Moxie; Trulieve; and Vicente Sederberg LLP. It is governed by a national board of directors and led by executive director Antonio Valdez, a consumer marketing expert with over two decades of experience marketing to the Hispanic community. Valdez was instrumental in the launch of the nation’s first Hispanic trade association for the real estate industry, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, where he served as a founding board member.