Unity Rd., a Cannabis Dispensary Franchise, Signs Agreements with Entrepreneurial Groups for Development in New Jersey and Virginia; Existing Partner Signs Lease in Maine for their First Unity Rd. Shop

PHOENIX, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) (the "Company")—a vertically integrated, cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator that produces premium, award-winning products—today 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.

Learn more about Item 9 Labs Corp. and its cannabis franchise, Unity Rd., contact investors@item9labs.com or 800-403-1140, or visit https://investors.item9labscorp.com/.

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.

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.

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 15 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.

Media Contact:
Item 9 Labs
Jayne Levy, Director of Communications
Email: Jayne@item9labs.com

Investor Contact:
Item 9 Labs
Email: investors@item9labs.com

SOURCE Item 9 Labs Corp.