Unity Rd., the cannabis dispensary franchise from Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB), announced today the signing of its newest agreements for New Jersey and Virginia alongside continued expansion across the Northeast region. The brand’s growth strategy is twofold, including both helping interested entrepreneurs enter the complex industry while also partnering with existing dispensary owners via its Local Alliance Program. The expansion is a key function of Unity Rd.’s mission to keep dispensary ownership – and the wealth that comes along with it – local.
- 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. shop to the Old Dominion state.
- Maine – Unity Rd. also supported their Maine group in securing a lease and are now working with them on applying for a dispensary license. This group was originally planning to develop Unity Rd. 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.
The Unity Rd. Dispensary Franchise Offers the Safety Net Prospective Cannabis Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed
“I know what it takes to run a successful business – I’ve spent years turning franchises around into successful investments for franchisees,” shared Patel. “Because of this, I know exactly what to look for in a franchisor – the high level of support, education and training along with a strong infrastructure is a must. I’ve been anxiously waiting to enter the franchise industry officially as a franchisee, but have been selective – a lot of brands get it wrong. That said, I’m confident about this next move with Unity Rd. The potential with this brand and this industry is incredible. This shop is really just the first step of our journey with Unity Rd., we plan to expand throughout Jersey and beyond.”
Unity Rd. offers the safest route for local cannabis entrepreneurs looking to stake their claim in the fast-growing, complex industry. In addition to offering the franchise opportunity to entrepreneurs who may be new to the industry, Unity Rd. also partners with existing dispensary owners via its Local Alliance Program, providing access to the buying power, resources and supportive network normally reserved for multi-unit operators. The dispensary franchisor’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 Northeast has been on our radar for quite some time, making the announcement of these agreements that much sweeter,” said Unity Rd.’s VP of Franchise Development Justin Livingston. “The cannabis industry and all its complexities can be intimidating, leaving even the most capable of investors and operators unsure of where to start. 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.”
The brand is actively seeking qualified franchise partners throughout the entire Northeast region who would benefit from the systems, processes and ongoing support the franchise offers. Just this past July, Unity Rd. successfully launched its first franchised dispensary in Boulder, Colorado. The franchise brand also has multiple agreements signed with more than 15 entrepreneurial groups who are in various stages of development across eight states.
Unity Rd. franchise partners now receive even more resources, supply chain connections and guidance as the brand was acquired earlier this year by Item 9 Labs Corp., an award-winning cannabis operator and publicly traded company on the OTC. The combination of the Unity Rd. cannabis retail franchise and premium Item 9 Labs products makes Item 9 Labs Corp. the first national, vertically integrated cannabis franchise company in the US. Known for its impressive 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.
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.