Company: The Nirvana Group
Arshad Lasi started his first business — a T-shirt company that donated part of its profits to endangered animal rescue — at 16. That led to the founding of a marketing company. And when his family got an opportunity to get into the Michigan marijuana market, they jumped at it, despite never having been in a dispensary before.
“That didn’t work out, which was a blessing in disguise, because we really didn’t know what we were doing,” he recalls. “But then we got the same opportunity in a place where we already had some roots.”
When Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana in 2018, Lasi and his family were ready.
Today, Lasi is CEO of the Nirvana Group, a vertically integrated cannabis company that includes cultivation, extraction and five retail dispensaries, as well as five non-cannabis smoke shops throughout Oklahoma.
It’s an impressive workload, especially considering he’s also still an undergrad at the University of Houston.
“I think there’s an immense value in having higher education,” he says. “And being in an environment in which you’re continuing to learn and you’re learning things at a higher level does have an impact and value.”
This year the Nirvana Group is expanding its smoke shops into New Mexico with plans to enter the cannabis market there and is also exploring opportunities in New Jersey.
“I see cannabis, as a commercial product, as a commodity that’s going to be ingrained into many different aspects of our life,” Lasi says. “We come every day trying to create something positive and just build something.”