Latinx & Asian Voices in Cannabis: Christine Yi

As a part of our upcoming Diversity Education Discussions with MARY Mag, we’re going to be highlighting some words from our speakers to keep you satiated until January 18th.

Christine Yi of Potli

What led you to launch your brand?

CY: We were really inspired by two needs in the industry that were true back in 2017 and still hold true today: a need for healthier, more versatile edibles outside of your average gummy or chocolate, and a brand that even our conservative Asian immigrant mothers could get behind.

Why is diversity and inclusion across the cannabis industry important to you?

CY: The legal cannabis industry is, at its core, brand new but deeply rooted in prohibition-like history. There is a very real opportunity for the cannabis industry to be at the forefront, a model, for true diversity and inclusion. The stage of this industry to me is part of what makes it so important. If we can’t get it right in the here and now how can we expect other industries to follow suit? For me personally, as an Asian person, cannabis diversity has a very nuanced meaning. On one hand, I feel Asian people and Asian inspired products are not readily represented in the market, so bringing my culture to the table is extremely important. But I also need to recognize that while I am a person of color, I am very much a person of privilege, and doing what I can to bring more opportunities to increase diversity in this industry is a big priority.

How is cannabis connected to your life?

CY: I use cannabis almost every day for a range of needs- whether it be relaxing, focusing, connecting, energizing. It has profoundly impacted my physical and mental health and I want to bring that kind of access to others.

What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?

CY: Just this morning I received a text from a dear friend telling me about how she gave our CBN honey (affectionately named Dream) to her uncle, who is a conservative immigrant going through tough times recently and has always been skeptical about cannabis products. He reported back to her that he had the best sleep in many years. Stories like that, improving people’s quality of life through our products is what keeps me going.

With this discussion being on MLK Day 2021, discuss the importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact in your life OR share your favorite MLK quote.

CY: As a person of color, I owe so much to MLK and the black community at large for fighting for the rights of colored people in this country. To me it’s a day to really remind myself that this continued fight for equality in the eyes of our justice system, society, business, is my fight, too.