Brian Vicente of Vicente Sederberg, Aaron Lopez of Trulieve, and Jose Javier Hidalgo of Flora & Forge, were elected to serve as NHCC’s inaugural executive committee

DENVER — The National Hispanic Cannabis Council announced Wednesday, it has tapped three cannabis industry leaders to head up its board of directors and oversee the direction and strategy of the recently launched nonprofit.

The inaugural executive committee consists of board president Brian Vicente, founding partner of Vicente Sederberg LLP; treasurer Aaron Lopez, director of government affairs at Trulieve; and secretary José Hidalgo, founder and CEO of Flora & Forge, LLC. All three were elected by the board to serve two-year terms. See below for individual bios. 

“The NHCC is extremely proud to have three of the cannabis industry’s most highly accomplished Hispanic leaders serving on its inaugural executive committee,” said NHCC Executive Director Antonio Valdez, a consumer marketing expert who was instrumental in launching the nation’s first Hispanic trade association for the real estate industry. “These forward-thinking individuals have played key roles in shaping the legal cannabis market and they have a deep understanding of cannabis business and policy issues. They are well-qualified to lead the board of directors in advancing NHCC’s mission of empowering the U.S. Hispanic community through education, entrepreneurism, and economic opportunity.”

The National Hispanic Cannabis Council was founded earlier this spring. It aims to raise awareness of cannabis-related health, economic, and legal issues, and it promotes cannabis industry participation and leadership among Hispanics, who are currently underrepresented. The organization is comprised of individual and business members from around the US. For more information about NHCC, visit

About the Inaugural NHCC Executive Committee 

Brian Vicente, president, is a founding partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP, a leading national cannabis law firm, and he is ranked one of the country’s top cannabis attorneys by Chambers and Partners USA. Since the inception of the legal cannabis industry — which he played a significant role in shaping — Vicente has been helping advocates, businesses and government officials develop and navigate cannabis laws and policies. He has also served on a variety of influential boards and committees, including the National Cannabis Industry Association, where he was elected its inaugural chairperson, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ gubernatorial transition team, where he was a member of the Economic Development and Labor Committee. 

Aaron Lopez, treasurer, is director of government affairs at Trulieve, a leading medical cannabis company in Florida and one of the nation’s largest cannabis brands. He has over 25 years of experience providing clients with a voice in the legislative and political processes at the international, federal, and state levels. Lopez founded Political Capital LLC, and prior to joining Trulieve he served as head of government affairs for organizations representing a variety of industries, including pharmacy, hospitality, oil and gas, and financial services. For the past five years, he has worked with lawmakers and government agencies in Virginia and West Virginia to establish their cannabis laws and develop state-regulated medical cannabis markets. 

José Hidalgo, secretary, is founder and CEO of Flora & Forge, LLC, which develops and manufactures premium cannabinoid products and brings end-to-end industry solutions to brands, farmers, and distributors. Hidalgo previously founded and served as chairman and CEO of Cansortium Inc., which he took public on the Canadian Stock Exchange in 2019. He also led the company’s efforts to obtain some of the first medical cannabis business licenses made available in Florida and Texas. Under Hidalgo’s leadership, Cansortium went on to establish additional operations in both states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, and Australia.