Arshad Lasi, CEO of Oklahoma’s The Nirvana Group. Photo credit: The Nirvana Group.
Most individuals know Oklahoma for its sweeping plains and the famous Broadway show. But Oklahoma is also the state with the largest amount of medical cannabis users per capita, according to Politico.
This uptake in patients has allowed for the growth of cannabis businesses throughout the state. Consequently, Politico added, Oklahoma has the largest medical cannabis industry in the U.S. Nearly 10% of the state’s population possesses medical cannabis licenses.
One company — The Nirvana Group — is meeting consumer trends in Oklahoma by “offering quality medicine at an affordable price,” the company’s 22-year-old CEO, Arshad Lasi, told Emerald by email.
In less than three years, The Nirvana Group has grown from a singular smoke accessory shop to one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis companies in the state. Now, the company has seven dispensaries throughout Oklahoma. And they have no plans of slowing down. In fact, Lasi plans to launch a beverage line, and extend the company into other states.
The Nirvana Group
The Nirvana Group’s umbrella of brands includes dispensaries, a commercial kitchen, a farm, and more.
By cultivating their own cannabis, Eden Cannabis Farm Inc., Lasi said, “we can keep quality high and costs low.” Additionally, the company’s 3,000 square foot processing facility features extraction and distillation capabilities. The Nirvana Group also has its own distribution company, Argent Cannabis Distribution, “the only cannabis cash and carry concept in Oklahoma,” Lasi explained.
Their family of brands also includes pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, a line of cannabis-infused beverages, and more.
New Tulsa Location
In addition to their two medical dispensaries in Tulsa — including one across from The University of Tulsa — The Nirvana Group is opening up its third location. This dispensary offers not only The Nirvana Group products, but a variety of other brands for medical cannabis consumers.
In celebration of the new opening, the company is partnering with Releaf Labs to offer customers a chance at winning one of two new Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Releaf Labs is the first 24-hour dispensary in Oklahoma and operates out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
In order to participate, medical patients can visit the new Tulsa location or another The Nirvana Group dispensary.. They must also purchase either Releaf, ALTRD, or Purple Reign products. Winners of this contest will be announced at the end of July.
In addition to giveaways, visitors can also sign up for club membership deals.
A Young Market on the Rise
In terms of the growing cannabis industry in Oklahoma, Lasi attributes this to a low barrier to entry.
“The low barrier to enter the retail side of the industry — an only $2,500 license fee — has caused an explosion of medical dispensaries, outnumbering the number of Starbucks in the state.”
Comparatively, it can cost more than $90,000 for a retail license in California, according to data compiled by Wagon Hill Dispensary. Consequently, the Golden State — home to 10 times more people than Oklahoma — has less than 1,000 dispensaries. This is compared to The Sooner State’s 1,700. Furthermore, Oklahoma voters approved medical cannabis in 2018, while Californians did so in 1996.
However, there are less medical users in Oklahoma, according to the above data. But, the amount of medical patients is also on the rise.
“There are also no prerequisites to obtain a medical card,” Lasi added. “So a staggering one-in-11 Oklahomans has their medical card for this reason.”
A high number of retail locations combined with over 300,000 active patients contribute to the boom in the Oklahoma market, he continued.
In terms of attracting young consumers like himself, he said that while their audience are patients of all ages, “as a 22-year-old CEO leading a workforce of other young people, we are swift to adapt to the ever-changing market quickly and [know] what people our age are looking to purchase and consume.”