How Fred Ghamyan is Taking Over Michigan with TYSON 2.0 

Fred Ghamyan is the Senior Marketing Manager at Common Citizen who has been instrumental in making TYSON 2.0 a staple in the Michigan cannabis market. As one of the newer states to legalize recreational cannabis, Fred and his team are blazing new trails and spearheading innovative strategies to navigate the evolving landscape. In this interview, Fred takes us behind the scenes of his personal journey in the cannabis space, talks about Common Citizen’s partnership with TYSON 2.0, and the future of the Michigan market.

1. When did you first get involved in the cannabis space?

I first started in the cannabis space in July 2023. My career has been in more traditional consumer good industries, but I had witnessed the evolution of the cannabis industry from the sidelines and knew I was ready to dive headfirst into something new and challenging. 

2. Can you share a bit about how you got started at Common Citizen and your role there?

I’m currently the marketing lead for Common Citizen across both of its businesses: retail and wholesale. On the retail side of things, I help drive the success of 8 retail stores in Michigan across 4 brands: LIV Cannabis, Pure Lapeer, Xplore Cannabis, and Cannavista Wellness. 

And then, on the wholesale side, I’m responsible for leading marketing initiatives for our house brands, Common Citizen and Tyson 2.0, and that’s what really intrigued me so much about the opportunity. Selfishly, I get to experience both sides of the business, but also to have the opportunity to drive the growth of a brand with the GOAT’s name on it. It’s a dream!

3. What’s Common Citizen’s company mission and goals?

Common Citizen is both a cannabis company and a true advocate for social change. The company’s mission is bigger than just growing high quality cannabis, it’s about changing the social stigmas that prevent people from enjoying the greater quality of life that this plant can offer.

There are two principles that the company is founded on: ‘Cannabis for Humanity’ and ‘Change for the Better’. ‘Cannabis for Humanity’ means putting people first in everything we do – from our safe, high-quality cannabis plants and world-class customer experience to our caring workplace environment. ‘Change for the Better’ means we have an immense desire to make ourselves, our product, and our team experience better each and every day. 

4. Michigan has become one of the hottest cannabis markets in the US; how has Common Citizen been able to capitalize on this immense growth?

We’re super fortunate to be able to operate at the scale that we have. This allows us to better serve the communities in which our retail stores operate and to be good partners for our wholesale customers.

It’s also incredibly important that we’ve stayed agile as the Michigan cannabis market is constantly changing. This means getting ahead of consumer trends, combating competitive pressures, and reacting to volatile market pricing. Luckily, the team we have in place gives us the competitive advantage to succeed in this market.

5. As you mentioned before, your professional experience comes from more traditional consumer goods industries. How have your experiences helped with what you’re doing now?

Above all, my tenure in “traditional consumer goods” solidified the importance of keeping retail partners and consumers at the heart of every decision a brand makes. No matter the task at hand: putting together a new marketing campaign, developing new products, or driving creative messaging that we hope to resonate with our audiences – we always need to remember to keep our consumers and retail partners at the center of every decision.

6. Marketing in the cannabis industry is incredibly difficult and regulated; how does that affect your approach?

There’s no doubt that stringent regulations surrounding cannabis marketing present challenges, but they also inspire creativity and innovation. At Common Citizen, we approach marketing with a focus on compliance, transparency, and authenticity, ensuring that our messaging resonates with consumers while adhering to legal guidelines.

7. What’s the most exciting part of the industry?

All of it is exciting, really! But I think the most exciting aspect of the industry is its potential to drive positive social and economic change. From expanding access to cannabis to creating new opportunities for entrepreneurship and job creation, the impact of this industry extends far beyond business profits; it fuels innovation and empowerment on a global scale.

8. What drew Common Citizen to partner with TYSON 2.0?

There’s a true alignment in the goals of both brands. Tyson 2.0 has been an extension of Mike himself and his mindset of being the greatest of all time. In the cannabis world, this translated to a commitment to producing safe and high-quality products that consumers love. Strategically, Tyson 2.0 has prioritized the balance of delivering a premium product but at an affordable price – this aligned perfectly with the scale and quality that Common Citizen has to offer. Although I’m personally about a year into the partnership, our teams are vibing and constantly working to better serve cannabis consumers in Michigan, and it’s been super exciting thus far!

9. How has the partnership with TYSON 2.0 been different than other projects you’ve worked on?

I’ve had very few opportunities to work with someone with the caliber of Mike Tyson. In my past experiences, my role has been so focused on driving awareness of brands and products. With Tyson 2.0, we don’t have a challenge with awareness. If anything, we’re able to really leverage the power of his personal brand to drive innovation and messaging to consumers with a familiar face of the brand.

10. What have been some of the best-selling TYSON 2.0 products in Michigan?

Tyson 2.0 prepackaged flower is king. There’s such a great variety of Mike’s hand-picked strains and we see the most excitement around all the high quality flower we continue bringing to the market. Knockout OG is the top selling strain – fan favorite for sure. We’ve also seen a huge growth in Mike Bites! The flavor lineup we have is truly unmatched. Watermelon is my personal favorite, but Black Raspberry is the top seller in that lineup.

11. What do consumers have to look forward to from the partnership between Common Citizen and TYSON 2.0?

Our partnership is only a couple years young so we’re just getting started. Probably the most exciting thing to look forward to is our innovation calendar for the next 12-24 months including innovative new product lines and new strains. Together, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries in cannabis while delivering on quality, variety, and value to the market.

12. Where do you see the Michigan cannabis industry heading in the next 5 to 10 years?

My crystal ball says there’s a ton of change coming. We’re likely going to see additional states legalizing recreational cannabis, especially as cannabis is likely to reschedule from Schedule I to Schedule III. 

On the consumer side, we’re going to see continued industry growth as the public has better access to cannabis and companies like Common Citizen continue to make strides to change the social stigma around the plant. More and more people are finding cannabis and the benefits it provides.

13. Who’s going to win the fight on November 15th, Mike Tyson or Jake Paul?

It’s all about going out there and having fun right?.. Just kidding, I have my money on Mike Tyson, 100%. Not only is he one of the GOATs in the history of ALL sports, but I had the opportunity to meet Mike last year during his visit to Michigan and he’s such a nice and humble guy. We’re rooting for you Mike!