Organizations like the NHCC are important because they show the increased professionalism of the industry. Sadly, cannabis is still taboo in most Latino communities resulting in careers and opportunities being overlooked. The ability to collaborate with the few Latino colleagues that exist across the country to elevate the industry is an incredible honor and opportunity. In 5 years, I would love to see the NHCC be as large and recognized as other national professional organizations – as well as being the industry go-to and tapped by businesses for their talent and industry expertise.  

I joined the board of the NHCC to bring exposure to the industry and the opportunities within it. For many Latino professionals, a career in the cannabis industry is unimaginable because of the existing stigma associated with cannabis across the Latino community. To this day, I have to explain to others that they can be lawyers, accountants, analysts, and social media managers within the cannabis industry. Bringing awareness of these opportunities is crucial because as a growing industry, Latinos need to step up and engage or we will be left behind and miss the opportunity to help craft and professionalize the industry with our community in mind.

Since February of 2020, Yair has functioned as the Regional Director of Community Integration for Illinois but is currently managing projects nationwide. In this role, Yair strategizes and executes diverse initiatives in which the company can embed itself into the different markets where it operates. By mobilizing staff volunteering efforts, identifying resource allocations, and making monetary investments, Yair elevates Cresco Labs as a prevalent member of the community.

Focus areas of work include veterans, health, substance abuse and recovery, urban gardening and sustainability, education, LGTBQ+, senior citizens, people with disabilities, low income and homeless population, local, small, and minority-owned business, and special community engagement efforts. Yair has also taken the lead on the company’s 5,000-hour volunteer initiative which was a response to the civil unrest of 2020. This initiative alone produced over 500 volunteers, impacted over 50 organizations across the country, covered 28 cities via 75 distinct activities over a span of 6 months.