Cannabis Dispensary Franchise Continues Rapid Growth Through Strategic Franchise Partnerships; Partners with Experienced Entrepreneur with Development Underway in Michigan and Ohio.
PHOENIX — Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB), a vertically integrated cannabis company, announced today that its dispensary franchise, Unity Rd., has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with entrepreneur Kevin Waltermire to open three Unity Rd. shops. Due to the industry’s unique business opportunities, Waltermire is seeking immediate entrance by purchasing an existing dispensary to convert into a Unity Rd. as well as applying for dispensary licenses in Michigan and Ohio. The $INLB and Unity Rd. teams are already working to identify potential acquisition opportunities across the two states as part of its support.
Waltermire is no stranger to the cannabis industry. He experienced the value of Unity Rd. first-hand when he played a critical role in developing the brand and shop design as the Director of Business Development for Unity Rd. from October 2018 to March 2020.
“Regardless of your professional background, opening a dispensary is an incredibly complicated and lengthy process,” explained Waltermire. “The Unity Rd. franchise opportunity is the best way to eliminate a lot of the hurdles and ensure compliance and seamless operations. Their team is going to make it so much easier for myself and many others to enter this fast-growing industry.”
Unity Rd. offers one of the safest routes for entrepreneurs looking to enter an industry that boasts high growth potential, helping franchise partners confidently enter the complex cannabis space. Its veteran team passes on their knowledge and trusted resources, as well as provides the ongoing support needed to compliantly and successfully operate a dispensary. With a collective 120-plus years’ experience in the legal cannabis industry, Unity Rd.’s time-tested Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) guide franchise partners through every operational function of the business.
“Franchising allows those who may not have the knowledge or access to necessary resources to have a viable opportunity to flourish,” said Unity Rd. Chief Franchise Officer Mike Weinberger. “In my nearly two decades in franchising, I’ve never seen an industry quite like this [cannabis] that could benefit so much from the franchise business model. Beyond helping industry newcomers and existing operators find success, franchising is also helping standardize the cannabis industry.”
Unity Rd. franchise partners now receive even more resources and supply chain connections as the brand was recently acquired by Item 9 Labs Corp., an award-winning cannabis operator.
“Having worked in the industry with product brands and dispensaries, I’m very aware of the supply chain issues many dispensary owners run into – I’ve seen it play out right here in Denver. So, when I heard the news of the acquisition and learned how Item 9 Labs would alleviate those pain points, I was sold,” added Waltermire.
The combination of the Unity Rd. cannabis retail franchise and premium Item 9 Labs products makes Item 9 Labs Corp. one of the first vertically integrated cannabis franchise companies in the country. Known for its extensive catalogue of products, Item 9 Labs currently offers 75 active cannabis strains and 150-plus differentiated cannabis vape products as well as premium concentrates. As Unity Rd. grows its franchise network, Item 9 Labs plans to develop or partner with cultivation facilities in states where Unity Rd. franchise partners open cannabis retail shops. This move will give Unity Rd. operators front-of-the-line access to a reliable product supply chain.
Despite economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, the demand for cannabis products surged to unprecedented levels with nearly every state experiencing record sales throughout 2020. Growth is anticipated to continue in 2021 with a big year for cannabis law reform on both the state and federal levels – opening opportunities for the industry to explode, with industry projections to top $24 billion by year-end.
Currently, Unity Rd. has signed multiple agreements with 14 entrepreneurial groups across the country. The total investment ranges from $1 million to $2.5 million, including a $100,000 franchise fee for a single unit or $250,000 for three units. Parties interested in becoming a Unity Rd. franchise partner should have access to a minimum $1 million in liquid capital. Franchise partners may be owner-operators or passive owners with a designated, experienced manager running operations.
About Unity Rd.:
Unity Rd. is bridging the two previously disconnected worlds of cannabis and franchising. The industry trailblazer is the first to bring the cannabis dispensary franchise model to the United States—with duality of prowess in both industries to back it up. Built up from a collective 200 years in the legal cannabis industry and franchising, the company helps eager operators enter the complex industry with ease. The marijuana franchise pioneer offers its partners the knowledge, resources, and ongoing support needed to compliantly and successfully operate a dispensary. Launched in 2018, Unity Rd. has signed multiple agreements with more than 10 entrepreneurial groups across the country. Recently, it was named one of the top cannabis retail leaders in the nation by MJBizDaily magazine and one of the “Best Cannabis Companies to Work For” in both the dispensary and cultivation categories in Cannabis Business Times’ elite 2020 list. The company is also the first cannabis business to earn a Franchise Times Dealmakers award. For more information, visit unityrd.com.
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.