When we were looking to expand our THC offering to the state of Nevada, we knew we’d need the help of a kick-ass cultivation partner. Enter: Flower One, a leading producer in the Silver State with a mission just like ours: to educate on the history, culture, and science behind the plant. Obviously, we felt like kindred spirits immediately—and we also couldn’t help but stan the super passionate people behind the brand. Especially its Executive Vice President, Salpy Boyajian.
Salpy’s job is to ensure the efficiency of day-to-day ops, overseeing the expert team of growers, researchers, and developers who manage the company’s 400,000 square feet and 100 unique cannabis strains. Together, they maintain consistency and quality, while also adhering to the industry’s regulatory guidelines. No small feat, indeed, but it all gets done seamlessly thanks to Salpy’s infectious passion and enthusiasm for the plant. She’s a real-deal consumer, having first discovered the magic of cannabis when she found that it helped soothe her once-debilitating migraines. Here, we catch up with Salpy to find out more about her career in cannabis and how she uses the plant to enhance her every day.
When did you start consuming cannabis and when did you first realize it could be beneficial?
I started consuming cannabis when I was 30, and it was really thanks to my life partner, Shatony Sargeant. I used to experience very intense migraines, and Shatony would always say I should just try cannabis, and that it could really help with the pain I often experienced. In the midst of having one of my worst migraines, he said one more time “just try it,” and I did, and it was like day and night. From then on, I can confidently say that having cannabis in my everyday routine really changed my life. Keep in mind, I am a female Armenian, who also grew up in the Reagan era, so generationally and culturally cannabis was viewed as a drug and taboo so I had always kept my distance. But after this experience, I did not see my life any other way.
I don’t ritualize cannabis, it is normal to me. It’s truly who I am and what I do.
You’ve been working in cannabis for a long time—tell us about your career and how you ended up at Flower One?
Before cannabis, I was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles and founded a nonprofit organization wherein I ran a number of group homes with my partner, Shatony. Once our businesses were progressing and stable in Los Angeles, we were looking for our next challenge, which brought us to Las Vegas in 2014 to build our 25,000 square foott indoor cannabis cultivation and production facility, and thus created our cannabis brand “NLVO”. Both the facility and NLVO were then acquired by Flower One in 2018. I am still very much involved with NLVO, as it is one of our in-house brands. To this day, NLVO is still thriving in Nevada as one of the top-selling brands on the market.
How would you describe the cannabis consumer and industry in Nevada?
In Nevada, there are two distinct populations—tourists and locals. These two groups have very different needs, expectations and consumption formats that they use and enjoy. The tourists are usually looking for something accessible and easy to use—whereas a local has the comfort of consuming from their own home and may buy in higher quantities than a tourist that’s in the city for a weekend. Nevada’s industry is not comparable to any other state, it is one of the fastest growing recreational markets in the US, the state reached over $1B in sales in 2020 thanks to our locals, a period while tourism was significantly low due to COVID.
Where do you see the cannabis industry going? What’s your ideal situation?
I see the cannabis industry continually improving and becoming more normalized. My ideal situation would be cannabis being fully legalized, which would further validate not only our business, but the plant and remove any notion that it is in any way an illegal drug. Most importantly with full legalization, we can also finally expunge cannabis-related criminal records and de-incarcerate any prisoners serving for past cannabis offenses.
Many people are still under the impression that cannabis is a “drug”, but cannabis and its many derivatives are actually the safest use of a plant, for both medicinal and recreational benefits.
What do you wish more people knew about cannabis?
Honestly, I wish people knew how amazing cannabis makes you feel and that it has little to no side effects. Many people are still under the impression that cannabis is a “drug”, but cannabis and its many derivatives are actually the safest use of a plant, for both medicinal and recreational benefits.
What’s your current consumption ritual? How often, what, when, and where do you like to consume?
I don’t ritualize cannabis—it is normal to me. It’s truly who I am and what I do. I consume different formats of cannabis on a daily basis, depending on where I am. The “where” for me, guides the “what.” For example, if I’m on the go and in public, I may vape or enjoy a gummy. My preferred method is flower as I enjoy the act of smoking cannabis.
What’s a book or film that changed your perspective?
Honestly, no movie or book has changed my perspective on cannabis. My life experiences changed it. This industry has taught me so much and taken me through so many life lessons, both personally and professionally.
Favorite activity to do while high and why?
Cannabis encompasses my daily activities, so I don’t have a favorite activity while high. I’m responsible with my use, based on the activity. Being high is my time to relax, and when I’m actually able to fully use as much as I would like to, I’m able to relax, regroup and be a better me to take on the next day. It really is my therapy and helps me find my balance each and every day.
If you had a billboard, what would you like it to say?
“Cannabis is therapy, let me show you how.”