Item 9 Labs’ Cannabis Franchise Opens First Dispensary, with More than Two Dozen Additional Shops in Development
Unity Rd. Calls Boulder, Colorado Home to its First Franchise Shop; Launches Corporate Acquisition Strategy to Make Cannabis Ownership Turnkey for Franchise Partners.
PHOENIX — Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) (“Item 9 Labs” or the “Company”)—a vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator that produces premium, award-winning products—announced today the opening of its first cannabis franchise shop under the Unity Rd. Brand, located in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, the Company has launched a corporate acquisition expansion plan to ease market entrance for new and existing franchise partners.
Father-Son Team Open First Unity Rd. Shop in Boulder, Colorado
The Boulder franchised cannabis shop is locally owned and operated by father-son team Bruce and Nate Wetzel.
“This launch has been years in the making,” said Unity Rd.’s Chief Franchise Officer, Mike Weinberger. “We founded Unity Rd. with the mission of keeping dispensary ownership, and the wealth that comes along with it local. We want to educate and empower owners, while also pumping revenue right back into their communities, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s no secret that opening a dispensary is a lengthy process, and that’s exactly why this opening means so much to our team—it’s a reflection of a lot of hard work, creativity and dedication. Here’s to the first of many.”
Unity Rd. offers the safest route for cannabis entrepreneurs interested in staking their claim in an industry that’s bursting with potential. The dispensary franchisor’s time-tested Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and veteran team, with a combined 120+ years of cannabis experience, guide franchise partners through every operational function of the business, whether it’s securing a license or assisting with cash flow, product selection or changing regulations.
Unity Rd. National Expansion Plans & Launch of Corporate Acquisition Strategy
The cannabis dispensary franchise is actively seeking qualified franchise partners interested in developing the brand in states where cannabis is legal for adult-use or medicinal consumption. Currently, Unity Rd. has multiple agreements signed with more than 15 entrepreneurial groups that are in various stages of development nationwide.
In addition to supporting franchise partners in securing dispensary licenses, either through acquisitions or the application process, the Company is seeking corporate acquisitions of existing dispensaries throughout Colorado, primarily in Denver in addition to Front Range and compelling mountain towns, as well as Michigan, Ohio and Oklahoma. The franchisor plans to convert the stores into Unity Rd. shops, operate them internally and sell them to an existing or future Unity Rd. franchise partner. This offers a turnkey solution for entrepreneurs seeking immediate entry into cannabis.
“Our corporate acquisition strategy eases hurdles for newcomers looking to acquire an existing dispensary and keeps ownership in the hands of local owners,” Weinberger said. “We’ll get the stores fully converted into a Unity Rd. shop, train the team and oversee operations so franchise partners have a seamless transition to ownership.”
Already, Unity Rd.’s Director of Franchise Operations, Jennifer Zarezadeh, has relocated to Denver to support the Wetzels and oversee future Unity Rd. operations.
Through the franchise model, the Company creates a capital-efficient method for retail and product expansion, focus and clustering of operations, which results in a network effect to launch the Unity Rd. and Item 9 Labs brands into new markets. As the Unity Rd. dispensary footprint continues to expand nationally, the Company plans to develop or partner with cultivation facilities in states where retail shops open to bring Item 9 Labs products to the market. This gives Unity Rd. franchise partners first access to a consistent, premium product supply chain.
“Bringing Item 9 Labs to our retail markets gives Unity Rd. the national product consistency that consumers have come to expect from franchise brands,” said the Company’s CEO Andrew Bowden. “It also eases new market product entry with a built-in distribution platform that will bring Item 9 Labs across the US.”
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 650,000+ square feet on its 50-acre site, one of the largest properties in Arizona zoned to grow and cultivate flower. For additional information, visit item9labscorp.com.