Unity Rd., the first cannabis dispensary franchisor in the nation, announced today its franchise expansion plans for the state of Oklahoma. The brand’s growth strategy is twofold and includes 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.
Bursting at the seams with potential, Oklahoma’s cannabis industry continues to grow year after year – more than doubling its 2019 medical cannabis sales to reach a record $831 million-plus in 2020. As of February 7, 2021, the state had registered over 370,000 active patient licenses – roughly 10% of the population. However, it’s clear there’s still hesitancy and confusion around compliant dispensary ownership, as the state has licensed thousands of cannabis businesses, yet only 2,090 dispensaries are open and operational to serve the ever-growing patient population.
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. Additionally, 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 changing regulations.
“We’re keeping dispensary ownership local and thriving with the backing of a franchise system,” said Unity Rd.’s VP of Franchise Development Justin Livingston. “The Local Alliance Program allows us to help existing dispensary operators learn from the experiences and best practices we’ve developed throughout our collective 120 years in cannabis. We’re offering the supportive network and tools they need to reach new heights and achieve their business goals.”
Unity Rd. is initially targeting Oklahoma City, Stillwater and Tulsa for Oklahoma franchise expansion with at least 15 shops available across the state. The dispensary franchise is seeking partners who would benefit from the systems, process and ongoing support the franchise offers. Currently, Unity Rd. has multiple agreements signed with 13 entrepreneurial groups, who are in various stages of development nationwide.
“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,” added Livingston. “It’s all part of our overarching goal to inspire confidence in the benefits of cannabis for all. We truly believe franchising will be the vehicle to help drive the cannabis industry forward – all while arming entrepreneurs across the country with the tools they need to be successful so that ownership and revenues stay local.”
Unity Rd. franchise partners receive even more resources and supply chain connections as the brand was recently acquired by Item 9 Labs Corp., an award-winning cannabis operator. 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 nation. 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.
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. The year ahead is poised to be big for cannabis law reform on both the state and federal levels – opening opportunities for the industry to explode, with projections to top $24 billion by year-end.
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.