Unity Rd. Targeting Michigan with 20+ Franchises Available as Cannabis Industry Booms and Number of Dispensary Licenses Continues to Climb; Dir. of Education & Training to Share Industry Expertise at MLive's Cannabis Event on June 17
DETROIT, May 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Unity Rd., the cannabis dispensary franchise from Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB), announced today the signing of its newest agreement alongside expansion plans for the state of Michigan. 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.
Interested investors are chomping at the bit to enter Michigan's adult-use market, which jumped 482% in 2020 to more than $500 million. In addition to Kevin Waltermire evaluating sites in Michigan for purchase – he recently signed a deal to open multiple Unity Rd. franchises – the brand recently signed an agreement with a mother-son team out of Detroit. Unity Rd. is already helping them plan their strategic market entry, which includes applying for their dispensary license through the city's Legacy Detroiter program, which gives applicants priority review and 99% discounts on application fees.
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.
"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."
The brand is actively seeking qualified franchise partners in target development markets including Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Bay City, Big Rapids, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marquette and Muskegon who would benefit from the systems, process and ongoing support the franchise offers. Unity Rd. is planning to bring 20-plus franchise locations across Michigan in the coming years. Currently, the franchise has multiple agreements signed with 15 entrepreneurial groups, who are in various stages of development nationwide.
Bursting with potential, Michigan's cannabis industry continues to grow year after year as statewide adult-use cannabis sales are projected to total upwards of $2.4 billion by 2024. In 2020 alone, Michigan's combined cannabis sales were $984.6 million, with medical accounting for $474 million and adult-use generating $510.7 million. To support this surge, MLive has launched a series of informative events, called Cannabis Industry Insights. Unity Rd.'s Director of Education and Training, Fay Powell, will be presenting at the upcoming event on June 17, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. ET. Area residents who are interested in learning more about operating cannabis businesses are highly encouraged to attend the event and can register for free courtesy of Unity Rd. by emailing email@example.com for a discount code.
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.
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.
Item 9 Labs
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