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Marissa Cortes
director of compliance

Marissa Cortes is the Director of Compliance at Higher Yields Consulting (HYC). Compliance is an essential component to how a cannabis business is perceived by the government, stakeholders, and public. Aligning to compliance standards and principles are imperative to uphold to remain in business. Marissa ensures that each HYC client maintains a high set of compliance standards in order to build a solid reputation for their cannabusiness. She focuses her efforts on ensuring that HYC clients avoid costly penalties, fines and more. As a result of her dedication to compliance assurance, HYC clients also find that staff communication, consumer care, and the overall bottom line of their cannabis business is improved. Marissa also acts as the liaison between multiple entities that enforce cannabis regulatory requirements, from financial institutions and banks, to state, national, and global auditory officials. Marissa is certified in cannabis compliance systems such as METRC (an elaborate tracking system that monitors the cannabis from seed to sale). Compliance and cannabis must be intertwined in order to have a successful cannabis business and Marissa is the person at HYC who ensures that this happens fluidly and efficiently. Besides an astutely detailed eye for regulatory requirements, Marissa works with cannabis companies to secure or renew applications and licenses at the dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation level. Marissa also collaborates with HYC’s marketing team to develop public relations, commerce, and business strategies to advance HYC’s position in the cannabis industry. She is a large reason that HYC is emerging as a leader in cannabis consulting.

One of the accomplishments that Marissa is most proud about was being selected for the METRC User and Stakeholders Group. She has been an active member of the group since 2016. This allows her the opportunity to provide her expertise to help develop initiatives for change that will improve cannabis compliance standards. Marissa has collaborated with the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), Department of Revenue to further the regulatory statutes of the cannabis industry as well to ensure the protection of the public and of the cannabis industry. Marissa finds that working with clients from the ground up is exciting. Especially as they grow and become successful while using her regulatory propositions and suggestions to propel themselves forward. However, she is most partial to helping companies who come to her in trouble and are on the brink of losing their livelihood and cannabusiness. With her expertise, she has helped these companies pull themselves out of the red and has helped to save their businesses. Marissa has been in the cannabis compliance business since 2013. Over the course of her career, she has helped cannabis companies avoid being shut down, cannabis workers losing jobs, and cannabis businesses being fined an exponential amount of money. Working in this field can be charged by emotion. Marissa finds a delicate balance within each scenario using empathy, compassion and relatability along with evidence-based facts and business intelligence. Marissa entered the cannabis industry to help people. She also finds that the plant itself is an incredible resource with untouchable beauty that needs to be shared. She strives to do justice for the cannabis and her contributions to the cannabis industry are far-reaching!

At work, home or play, Marissa holds herself to a high set of standards and strives to treat others with the golden rule. Simply treating people how she would like to be treated is a daily practice. Marissa’s kindness and a gentle demeanor provides stability and relatability in a world that can be driven by isolation and unknown factors. Like compliance, Marissa finds that providing checks and balances between her personal and work life can be challenging and is a learning process! Her greatest pride is being a mother to her son. She finds extreme value in finding time for herself with self-care and wellness.

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