Exclusive Interview with Essence Cannabis Dispensary Founder and CEO Armen Yemenidjian
Armen Yemenidjian gave up his gaming license to start Integral Associates in Nevada. Today, that company is recognized as Essence Cannabis Dispensary. Yemenidjian spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about taking the company to a multi-state platform, launching an on-site consumption lounge in California and the pending Green Thumb Industries’ $290 million acquisition of Integral.
Together, Yemenidjian and Integral’s two other partners have a combined 40 to 50 years of experience working in regulated markets. Yemenidjian was working as the Vice President of Casino Marketing and Operations at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino and Las Vegas when he decided to transition to the cannabis space.
Yemenidjian flew to Colorado and other states with medical and recreational programs to better understand the space. Although it was a big decision to sacrifice his gaming license, he didn’t consider it a difficult decision. He sees numerous parallels between the gaming and cannabis industries and leverages his past experience to find success in this new market.
The Essence Brand
Essence has three dispensaries and approximately 100,000 square feet of cultivation space in Nevada, which produces roughly 20,000 pounds of cannabis on an annual basis. The company is set to grow its Nevada footprint with eight new dispensary licenses awarded in December 2018.
The Company’s Nevada Cultivation Facility
The Essence brand is in the midst of an evolution. Initially, the company started with the sole focus on medical cannabis, but now it is shifting to include a recreational focus. Within the next six months, two of the company’s three Nevada dispensaries will reflect a redesigned model. While the brand is changing, the company will remain focused on the core principles of creating a hospitable environment with a wide variety of high-quality products, according to