Unity Rd., 100% Locally-Owned and Operated Dispensary Franchise, Strategically Positions Item 9 Labs Corp. for National Scale

The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.

In March 2021, Item 9 Labs Corp. INLB entered a unique position to capitalize on opportunities in a rapidly evolving U.S. regulatory environment. The company combined its Item 9 Labs’ premium, award-winning products with the Unity Rd. dispensary franchise through the acquisition of OCG, Inc.

Since then, Item 9 Labs Corp. has been making waves throughout the cannabis industry, achieving profitability for its 2nd quarter fiscal year 2021 and boasting now 7 consecutive quarters of revenue growth with its recent Q3 2021 earnings report. Led by a veteran-driven support team, the combined company offers one of the safest entrances into cannabis for prospective dispensary owners while expanding its footprint across multiple states.

In a highly regulated environment, it's essential to know and understand local laws and regulations. It can be difficult to stay on top of compliance-related matters, especially when headquarters are far away. At the same time, cannabis brings with it several challenges that are unique to the industry across various business functions. The company has found a way to bypass these hurdles and successfully duplicate it, one Unity Rd. franchise at a time. 

Setting a New Standard for Dispensary Operations


Bridging the worlds of cannabis and franchising, Unity Rd. broadens the horizon by setting a new standard for dispensary ownership. As a traditional franchise model, Unity Rd. franchisees own 100% of their dispensary license and business, while benefiting from one of the safest routes for entrepreneurship in an often complex and highly regulated industry. 

“The success of legal cannabis comes down to one thing — education,” states Joe DiSalvo, law enforcement veteran and the newest independent director on Item 9 Labs Corp.’s Board. 

As Sheriff of the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office, located in Aspen, Colorado, DiSalvo thought it was important to establish the proper education, safe use and storage of new cannabis retail products. He founded the Valley Marijuana Council when Colorado’s adult-use market went live and new products were released into the market.

“Item 9 Labs Corp. is a people-first company with extensive education and training programs for its retail teams and the dispensaries that sell their products," continues DiSalvo. "They’re setting the bar for what conscious companies should do.”

From securing a dispensary license to compliant operations, Unity Rd.’s team of veterans pass on their knowledge and trusted resources to franchise partners. Partners are then guided through every operational function of the business. These veterans provide ongoing support, ensuring the success of each dispensary by helping them remain in compliance every step of the way. 

Combination Puts Item 9 Labs in Unique Position for Growth


The fusion between the Unity Rd. cannabis retail franchise and its premium Item 9 Labs product line places Item 9 Labs Corp. as one of the first vertically integrated cannabis franchise companies in the country. 

As the Unity Rd. dispensary footprint continues to expand nationally, it serves as a distribution platform for Item 9 Labs products. Its extensive catalog includes 75 active cannabis strains, 150-plus differentiated cannabis vape products and a host of premium concentrates.

Item 9 Labs plans to develop or partner with cultivation facilities in states where Unity Rd. franchise partners already operate or plan to open cannabis retail shops. Unity Rd. franchisees gain first access to a reliable product supply chain, and the brand benefits from the national product consistency that consumers have come to expect from franchises. The resulting development allows for the ability to increase revenues for product licensing, as well as for wholesale and franchise royalties for the organization. 

Collective Team Boasts Unrivaled Depth of Bench

Item 9 Labs Corp.’s veteran management team possesses diverse skill sets and extensive experience in the cannabis sector, franchising and capital markets. This powerful combination and synergy of professionals provide the company a sound position for national scalability while bringing the highest quality cannabis and industry knowledge to consumers, patients and entrepreneurs nationwide.

Item 9 Labs Corp. is composed of cannabis industry veterans who have gained more than 120 years of collective experience in legal cannabis operations. 

Throughout their careers, the team has awarded more than 300 franchises in 5 different countries. They have supported the development of 125 concepts and earned 26 awards exclusive to the cannabis industry. They’ve also successfully managed cultivation operations in 7 U.S. states, 1 commonwealth and 3 provinces. 

A Few Things to Know about the Franchise

  • The Unity Rd. franchise opportunity launched in 2018. 
  • Today, Unity Rd. has multiple agreements signed with 15+ entrepreneurial groups who are in various stages of store development across the U.S., including a shop in operation in Boulder, Colorado. 
  • The franchise is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, with remote teams located in Denver, Colorado, and in various locations on the East Coast.
  • The company was named as one of the nation's top cannabis retail leaders by MJBizDaily magazine. It was also listed among the elite in Cannabis Business Times’ 2020 list of the  "Best Cannabis Companies to Work For" in the dispensary and cultivation categories. 
  • Unity Rd. is the first cannabis business to earn a Franchise Times' Dealmaker's Award.
  • 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. 
  • All franchisees own and operate 100% of their businesses. Therefore, low corporate capital is required for national development of the brand.

For more information on Unity Rd. franchising opportunities or investing in the cannabis industry, visit https://www.unityrd.com

The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.

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