PHOENIX – Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) —a cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator that produces premium products — announced continued development of its cannabis dispensary franchise brand, Unity Rd., across the Northeastern United States. The industry trailblazer signed agreements for New Jersey and Virginia alongside continued expansion across the Northeast region:
– New Jersey – The New Jersey agreement was signed with an experienced entrepreneur whose familiarity with franchising drew him to the investment opportunity. Dish Patel and his business partner will join the strong list of three franchise groups that have signed with Unity Rd. to bring the brand to New Jersey – they’re all awaiting legislation to clear them for development.
– Virginia – As investors line up for the opportunity to bring Unity Rd.’s business model to their communities, Laurin Wallace, along with two business partners, signed on recently to bring a Unity Rd. to the Old Dominion state.
– Maine – Unity Rd. also supported their Maine franchise group in securing a lease and are now working with them on securing a dispensary license. This group was originally planning on developing in Massachusetts but pivoted to pursue opportunities in Maine to break into the burgeoning industry sooner. The state’s adult-use market launched in October 2020 and has been flourishing. This past August, it exceeded $10 million in sales for the first time in one month.
Franchise Model Creates Low Corporate Capital Requirements for National Expansion
The Company acquired Unity Rd.’s parent company, OCG Inc., earlier this year, making it the first national, vertically integrated cannabis franchise company in the US. The combination of the Unity Rd. cannabis retail franchise and premium Item 9 Labs products puts Item 9 Labs Corp. in a unique industry position.
Item 9 Labs Corp.’s CEO Andrew Bowden, said “Unity Rd. franchise partners own and operate 100% of their businesses. Therefore, low corporate capital is required for national development of the brand, creating a capital-efficient method for both our retail and product expansion. By clustering our operations, we’re creating a focused network to more effectively launch the Unity Rd. and Item 9 Labs brands into new markets.”
Item 9 Labs Corp. plans to develop top tier cultivation and lab facilities all across the country as Unity Rd. franchises start to open – the first Unity Rd. franchise opened this past June in Boulder, Colorado. This strategic growth plan gives Unity Rd. operators front-of-the-line access to a reliable product supply chain and the Unity Rd. brand the national product consistency that consumers have come to expect from franchises. It also eases new market product entry with a built-in distribution platform that will bring Item 9 Labs across the nation.
Currently, Unity Rd. has multiple agreements signed with more than 15 entrepreneurial groups who are in various stages of development across eight states.
As a traditional franchise model, Unity Rd. franchise partners own 100% of their dispensary license and business, while benefitting from one of the safest routes for entrepreneurship in the complex, highly-regulated cannabis industry. The dispensary franchise’s time-tested Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and veteran team guide franchise partners through every operational function of the business, whether it be assisting with cash flow, product selection or the ever-changing regulations.
“The cannabis industry and all its complexities can be intimidating, leaving even the most capable of investors and operators unsure of where to start,” said Unity Rd.’s VP of Franchise Development Justin Livingston. “As part of the Unity Rd. network, our partners can operate their dispensaries more efficiently – resulting in more time to focus on growing the business rather than managing it. We’re offering the supportive network and tools they need to reach new heights and achieve their business goals.”
Franchise partners sign 10-year agreements and pay a $100,000 franchise fee up-front. The Company also earns a residual monthly 5% gross royalty on top-line revenue and a 2% marketing royalty fee per location.
(This information is primarily sourced from Item 9 Labs Corp. Highly Capitalized has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this news release. Read our Disclaimer here).