Q&A with Oganyan Agency’s Tatev Oganyan: Changing the Cannabis Game
360 magazine had the honor of interviewing a game-changing woman in the cannabis space as well as luxury consumer goods as one of California’s top lawyers. She is a force to be reckoned with due to her many accolades and talents. Mrs Oganyan talks about gender equality, balancing his work and personal life, his favorite hobbies including his successful “Happy High Hour” events in Orange County, the future of cannabis industry and prominent celebrities investing in cannabis companies. Read the informative interview below and follow Tatev on INSTAGRAM and its website TheOganyanAgency.com
As a powerful cannabis advocate, do you find being a woman has made it harder for you to succeed? We read all the time that actresses aren’t paid the same as their male co-stars. Would you say the cannabis industry is similar or not at all?
I think being a woman has its challenges in most industries, including theater and cannabis, especially as you move up the corporate ladder. I’ve seen my fair share of gender inequality, which could be detrimental to cannabis businesses. Undoubtedly, there are many more hurdles for women to overcome, but we are stronger because of it in an industry that requires thick skin. You have to know your worth and stand up for yourself, negotiate your salary and work hard to get what you want because it won’t be given to you.
How do you balance your professional and personal life? 360 read that you work with your husband, what are your tips for leaving the stress of work in the office?
My husband is a lawyer at the Oganyan agency for corporate and commercial real estate matters, so it’s not uncommon to talk business while we brush our teeth.
We have just returned from our honeymoon in Croatia, which we had to postpone for eight months due to work delays. We succeeded and our customers were very grateful. Here are some tips that work for us
- Regularly organize and coordinate the scheduling of your work and personal time.
- Respect professional boundaries and personal space at home and in the office, which is important for privacy and comfort.
- Find ways to infuse passion into every project and have fun. Your customers will appreciate it.
- Make time for nature to disconnect and stay active.
Our readers would like to know some of your favorite hobbies.
My creative outlet is drawing, painting and curating unique experiences through experiential marketing. This week we hosted a Happy High Hour, which was an exclusive taste-testing event for industry insiders and influencers to meet Trendi, a premium California flower brand launching this summer.
Where do you see the cannabis industry in the next year?
Without federal legalization, strong regulation, and tax breaks, the market will continue to be volatile as the illicit market thrives. Large operators will continue to buy out struggling operators. Mergers and acquisitions will accelerate as large companies expand their footprint to increase revenue. The stigma will decrease as education and research improve and more states legalize cannabis. Many more Americans will be willing to regularly use cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Do you believe that cannabis will be legalized at the federal level? If so, when do you see this happening?
I believe that cannabis will be legalized but not soon, unfortunately. I am optimistic about the prospects for full federal legalization in the long term, as I believe it has broad popular support from the American people.
Just look at how long progress is taking at the federal level with the SAFE Banking Act which was first introduced in 2013. It would be a huge boost for the legitimacy of the cannabis industry if cannabis companies could banking like any other legitimate business.
It’s 2022 and despite continued bipartisan support for the law, we see it held back for one reason or another by Democrats and Republicans alike. Overall, we think the momentum is there for the bill to eventually pass, but it’s not a priority for this legislative season.
Tell us who inspires you and has it helped you pursue your career in cannabis?
My cannabis story happened largely by chance. I applied for a job on Indeed in the fall of 2016 and the industry was not disclosed to me until the final interview. I asked for time to consider the offer as I wasn’t sure cannabis was legal at the time. My husband (then boyfriend) helped me research California cannabis laws and encouraged me to pursue a legal career in cannabis. He also believed in my entrepreneurial spirit since law school and motivated me to start my own business in 2020. Today we are bringing together our biggest projects.
What are 3 pro tips or advice you have for our readers who are looking to open a dispensary and have never been in the cannabis industry before?
- Only the creme de la creme succeeds. Don’t expect to get rich overnight. Heavy tax burdens (up to 40%), constantly changing regulations and competing illicit markets make it difficult to operate a profitable dispensary.
- Know your market. Embed yourself in cannabis cultivation for long-term success in the industry.
- The industry is not for the faint-hearted. Learn to eat bad news for breakfast because you have to be relentless to survive as you navigate uncharted waters.
Given that 360 is a lifestyle magazine and also focuses on celebrities, do you see a change in celebrities publicly opening up to recreational cannabis use?
We are seeing more and more celebrities openly discussing cannabis or CBD use, especially celebrities who want to get into the cannabis industry. Fans expect authentic adventures and collaborations. Cannabis consumers are very quick to reject money grabs.
To be successful, celebrities need to connect with the culture and lifestyle by openly sharing their history and relationship with weed. Otherwise, their involvement will simply seem opportunistic.
Do you think celebrities will start investing in cannabis companies?
Cannabis is an emerging industry and a hot commodity closely tied to Hollywood, hip-hop and reggae cultures. In recent years, more and more celebrities are investing in cannabis-related businesses. Many like Mike Tyson, Bella Thorne and Seth Rogen are already creating their own cannabis brands. Brands that feature famous personalities capitalize on an existing fanbase, which can help boost retail sales. It’s exciting to see how celebrity-endorsed products are attracting new cannabis consumers and curious audiences.
Finally, if you could give some advice and inspiration to your younger self as you begin law school, what would you say?
I would tell my younger self to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Above all, remember to have fun because the work will still be there. Trust your instincts and stop doubting yourself. Use your fear as fuel to learn. Being scared and uncomfortable is a sign of personal growth.