Proper Brands has announced the acquisition of Nirvana Investments, the parent company of N’Bliss dispensaries, 5150 N’Fusion manufacturing, and Bold Lane Logistics transportation.

The purchase of Nirvana Investments by Proper would constitute the largest single business purchase in Missouri cannabis, and will make Proper the largest Missouri-owned marijuana company in the market.

The addition of the four N’Bliss retail locations, located in Ellisville, Festus, House Springs, and Manchester respectively, will double Proper’s retail footprint in the St. Louis region – bringing Proper’s total number of dispensary licenses to 9 with 8 located in the St. Louis area.

Proper currently operates 5 retail licenses in Bridgeton, Crestwood, South County, and Warrenton with an additional dispensary license in Kansas City.

“Since the early days of the rollout of the medical program to the present day, both Proper and Nirvana have not only shared an emphasis on quality products, quality brands, quality service, and quality people, but we’ve worked together,” explained Proper CEO John Pennington. “We’ve built a great relationship. As we looked for growth opportunities, especially on the retail side, Nirvana checked every box.”

The move solidifies Proper’s position in the St. Louis area, as well as the state overall. With nine dispensary licenses, two manufacturing licenses, two transportation licenses, and two cultivation licenses, Proper moves into a firm position as one of the largest vertical cannabis operations in Missouri.

Sour Watermelon Passion Fruit gumdrops | Honeybee

“We’re a St. Louis-owned and operated company. The addition of these four St. Louis area stores solidifies our dedication to this region. We want people to be proud to say Proper is their hometown dispensary,” Proper Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Matt Labrier said. “Ultimately, it gives us the opportunity to impact that many more people with what we think is an excellent customer service and retail experience.”

“As a vertically integrated company, there are so many pieces of this industry that we enjoy, from seed to sale. But at the end of the day, having the ability to work one-on-one with consumers to help provide them with a positive experience in their own cannabis journey, that’s the ultimate high,” Labrier continued.

The company will not immediately rebrand the N’Bliss retail locations. “We want to take the time to educate ourselves on how the stores run and make a well-thought-out decision. They will eventually become Proper stores, but we’re not going to rush it,” Labrier said.

The additions of Bold Lane and 5150 offer even more growth and opportunity for Proper.

5150 is home to a bevy of brands including Lotus, Path, Refine, Wynk, and Odyssey. Proper is currently home to Proper, Ratio, Goodnight, and Honeybee. While some of the brands are direct competitors, unique offerings and technology mean that many of the brands are complimentary.

“Having another manufacturing facility under our belt will allow us to further improve efficiencies and grow our lab team and our product offerings,” Labrier told Greenway. “5150 N’Fusion has a great crew with a well-run and smartly designed setup.”

“With the addition of Bold Lane Logistics, we are gaining a very experienced team. We’re constantly working to improve our transportation logistics. You can always be more efficient, effective, and generally make things run more smoothly. The Bold Lane crew are proven experts in the field, so they’re not just bringing more vehicles—they’re bringing expertise. We have been working with them since the beginning and we look forward to learning from them.”

Currently, the Division of Cannabis Regulation is working through a backlog of ownership changes and transfers. With that in mind, Proper will operate the Nirvana Investments licenses through a Management Service Agreement until ownership transfers are approved.

With nearly 100 new employees coming from Nirvana, Proper aims to integrate and optimize its workforce to ensure seamless operations.

Jeff Gumaer, Director of Cultivation for Proper Cannabis. Photos by Paper Dog Media

“Both Proper and Nirvana have shared an emphasis on quality products, quality brands, quality service, and quality people since the beginning. The vision of leading and inspiring our community, customers, and patients through curated products, experiences and people will continue across the board. We’re going to work through the integration together, taking the best practices from each company to create something even better than before,” Labrier said.

For now, the future of Proper is crafted by creating opportunity and building off of success. 

“Our biggest challenges remain the same that they’ve been since day 1: becoming more agile, efficient, and tactical. 

“Something we always strive for is consistency. One of the people that mentored me early on in this industry, almost 15 years ago, would always remind the team that “you’re only as good as your last harvest.” We continue to take that same mentality and apply it to everything that we do. Whether that’s the experience someone has inside of our dispensaries, the world-class edibles coming from our culinary team, or the flower coming out of our cultivation facility, consistency is paramount.  We want to be a company that people in Missouri can rely on to provide the highest quality experience, every single time. 

“We’ll continue to invest in new technology, and, of course, our people. With the acquisition of Nirvana Investments, we’ll be able to offer more growth opportunities to our employees, expand our product portfolio, and improve our logistical efficiency. We’re beyond excited to enter the next phase of Proper Brands,” Labrier concluded.

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