– Vertically Integrated Cannabis Franchisor and Operator Builds Colorado Retail Footprint Through Acquisitions.
– Local Unity Rd. Partners Secure Dispensary Licenses in New Mexico and South Dakota Cannabis Programs.
PHOENIX — Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) (the “Company”) — a vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator that produces premium, award-winning products — announced the accelerated growth of its dispensary franchise model, Unity Rd. across the U.S. with successful expansion into multiple new markets over the past two months.
Currently, the Company has two dispensaries open in Colorado and Oklahoma with development across another 10 states, driven by more than 20 entrepreneurial groups. Item 9 Labs Corp. anticipates this positive momentum to continue throughout 2022 with a focus on fast-tracking franchise development by supporting Unity Rd. franchise partners in acquiring existing dispensaries in Colorado, among other target markets.
Expansion into New Cannabis Markets
The Company’s Unity Rd. franchise opportunity removes the complexities often associated with entering the cannabis market. Through Unity Rd.’s proven and scalable franchise model, entrepreneurs are afforded seamless entry into the booming industry, along with the support system designed to enable their operation of a successful and compliant dispensary in a market that has legalized medicinal or adult-use cannabis sales. The dedicated team, with a combined 120-plus years of legal cannabis experience, guide franchise partners through every operational function of the business including one of the most challenging hurdles – securing a license.
The Item 9 Labs Corp. team recently assisted two of the brand’s first partners in South Dakota and New Mexico in securing state and local approval to operate in their markets’ cannabis programs. The brand’s South Dakota partners, B.J. Olson and Adam Jorgensen, were awarded a license to open one of the first dispensaries in Hartford, a suburb of Sioux Falls, through the South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program. They broke ground on their shop on February 25, 2022 and anticipate being operational this summer.
Meanwhile, New Mexico recently opened to adult-use cannabis on April 1, 2022, and the market is booming. Dispensaries hit nearly $5.2 million in sales for adult-use cannabis products alone within the first weekend, according to the Office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Unity Rd.’s New Mexico partner was recently awarded three licenses by the state and plans to open his first shop in Ruidoso with two additional cities to follow.
“The relationship between us and our local partners is mutually beneficial, as we together leverage a proven and highly scalable business. We have worked hard to create a repeatable road map that allows eager cannabis entrepreneurs a direct and de-risked route into the complex U.S. cannabis market,” said CEO of Item 9 Labs Corp., Andrew Bowden, adding that the market is set to hit $50 billion in revenue by 2025.
“The recent momentum of our one-of-a-kind franchise model is a testament to the support our team provides our franchise partners,” Bowden continued. “With increased legalization and acceptance of cannabis, we anticipate building on top of our recent successes and furthering our national footprint.”
The Company is also in the midst of rebranding the Unity Rd. shop in Oklahoma City and anticipates a grand opening celebration this summer.
Accelerating National Footprint Through Acquisitions
Item 9 Labs Corp. is actively growing the Unity Rd. national footprint through accretive acquisitions of existing dispensaries that will be converted into Unity Rd. shops and has had recent activity in the Denver market. In early March, the Company closed its acquisition of an existing dispensary retail license and storefront in Adams County, Colorado. This will be the brand’s first corporate-owned shop and is anticipated to open this June. Item 9 Labs Corp. also signed an Asset Purchase Agreement (the “APA”) with The Herbal Cure, a medicinal and recreational dispensary and cultivator operating in the desirable Washington Park neighborhood of Denver. The dispensary generated revenues of $5.4 million last year and will be Unity Rd.’s first future flagship location. The space offers 5,000 square-feet for retail operations, corporate offices and team training as well as a 3,000 square-foot medicinal and recreational cultivation. Item 9 Labs Corp. anticipates the dispensary to be transitioned over to Unity Rd., within six months of closing the acquisition, which is currently awaiting regulatory approval by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (the “MED”) and the City of Denver.
“The new market expansion we are seeing on the retail side, will also propel our award-winning cannabis product brand further,” said Bowden, speaking to the Company’s overall national strategy to first enter with the Unity Rd. retail brand and follow with Item 9 Labs products. “Bringing our products to markets where Unity Rd. shops are located gives franchise partners front-of-the-line access to a reliable product supply chain. With our products owning more of the shelf space in Unity Rd. shops, we are driving additional sales across multiple revenue verticals, all to our benefit, as well as our franchise partners and our shareholders.”
Item 9 Labs Corp. is also seeking opportunities to acquire, develop or partner with cultivation and production facilities in markets where there are two to three Unity Rd. shops. Currently, the Company is focusing product expansion efforts on states, such as Colorado, to ease new market product entry and focus operations.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks and effects of legal and administrative proceedings and governmental regulation, especially in a foreign country, future financial and operational results, competition, general economic conditions, proposed transactions that are not legally binding obligations of the company and the ability to manage and continue growth. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make in this news release include the introduction of new technology, market conditions and those set forth in reports or documents we file from time to time with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect current events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
About Item 9 Labs Corp.
Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) is a vertically integrated cannabis operator and dispensary franchisor delivering premium products from its large-scale cultivation and production facilities in the United States. The award-winning Item 9 Labs brand specializes in best-in-class products and user experience across several cannabis categories. The company also offers a unique dispensary franchise model through the national Unity Rd. retail brand. Easing barriers to entry, the franchise provides an opportunity for both new and existing dispensary owners to leverage the knowledge, resources, and ongoing support needed to thrive in their state compliantly and successfully. Item 9 Labs brings the best industry practices to markets nationwide through distinctive retail experience, cultivation capabilities, and product innovation. The veteran management team combines a diverse skill set with deep experience in the cannabis sector, franchising, and the capital markets to lead a new generation of public cannabis companies that provide transparency, consistency, and well-being. Headquartered in Arizona, the company is currently expanding its operations space by up to 640,000-plus square feet on its 50-acre site, one of the largest properties in Arizona zoned to grow and cultivate flower. For additional information, visit https://investors.item9labscorp.com/.