Unity Rd. Gears Up for Banner Year of Signings, Acquisitions and Openings
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Unity Rd. Gears Up for Banner Year of Signings, Acquisitions and Openings

Cannabis Dispensary Franchise Primed for Record Growth After Successful 2021 with Eight New Partners Expanding the Brand Across Six New States

February 11, 2022 // Franchising.com // PHOENIX - Unity Rd., the cannabis dispensary franchise from Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB), is prepped for momentous growth with new franchise partners, acquisitions and openings. After a successful year of eight signed agreements for expansion into six new states, the brand is well-positioned to build off this performance in an optimistic 2022.

Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Virginia were some of the states to see franchise growth in 2021 - and the industry itself grew with five more states legalizing either medicinal or adult-use cannabis last year. With several states preparing to legalize cannabis through legislative bills and ballot measures this year, more opportunities will soon be available and market forecasts show U.S. cannabis sales will reach $50 billion by 2026.

"Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and we are at the forefront, as a pioneer leading the charge," said Andrew Bowden, CEO of Item 9 Labs Corp. "Heading into 2022, we believe all our efforts will accelerate as we see licenses and permits go through and new Unity Rd. openings taking place nationwide."

A major brand milestone was hit in June with the opening of Unity Rd.'s first cannabis franchise shop in Boulder, Colorado owned by a father-and-son team. Stacked with a roster of strong development, Unity Rd. also solidified deals in New Jersey and Virginia, while announcing its expansion throughout Maine, and most recently signed its first agreement in South Dakota.

Another success the franchise company saw last year was the launch of a national dispensary acquisition program which offers a solution for prospective entrepreneurs seeking immediate entry into the cannabis industry. Through corporate acquisitions, this program converts dispensaries into Unity Rd. shops that can be sold to an existing or future franchise partner. This initiative allows for another avenue to keep cannabis dispensary ownership local, which is at the core of Unity Rd.'s mission and will be a key focal point this year.

In October, Item 9 Labs Corp. executed an Asset Purchase Agreement for the first shop in this program, an existing dispensary license and storefront in Adams County, Colorado. The company is currently awaiting regulatory approval by Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division (the "MED") and expects the shop to be operational in the first half of 2022.

"We truly strengthened our foundation this past year, and now we will continue to educate and build awareness of our franchise opportunity," added Unity Rd.'s Chief Franchise Officer Mike Weinberger. "We have seen increased interest from prospective franchise partners and are starting to open more shops, but we are not taking our pedal off the gas because more entrepreneurs need to know that the complex cannabis industry and franchising can exist as one - and that is Unity Rd."

An industry trailblazer, Unity Rd. has set the stage as the first national cannabis dispensary franchise model in the United States. This continues to be recognized by the franchise industry, as Unity Rd. recently became the first of its kind to be named a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA). The cannabis dispensary franchise also landed a place on Franchise Dictionary Magazine's TOP 100 Game Changers for 2021 and Franchise Journal Magazine's list of 2021 Top Brands.

Unity Rd. offers a guided route for cannabis entrepreneurs looking to enter and navigate the complex cannabis industry. The dispensary franchise's time-tested Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and dedicated team, with a combined 120+ years of cannabis experience, direct franchise partners through every operational function of the business, whether it be securing a license or assisting with cash flow, product selection or changing regulations. The marijuana dispensary franchise is actively seeking qualified partners who would benefit from the systems, processes and ongoing support the franchise offers. Currently, Unity Rd. has multiple agreements signed with nearly 20 entrepreneurial groups who are in various stages of development nationwide.

To learn more about the Unity Rd. franchise opportunity, contact franchise@unityrd.com, call 720-923-5262 or visit unityrd.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 nearly 20 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.

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 up to 640,000+ 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, risks and effects of legal and administrative proceedings and governmental regulation, especially in a foreign country, future financial and operational results, competition, general economic conditions, proposed transactions that are not legally binding obligations of the company and the ability to manage and continue growth. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make in this news release include the introduction of new technology, market conditions and those set forth in reports or documents we file from time to time with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to revise or update such statements to reflect current events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE Unity Rd.

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Contacts:

Marisa Beaumont
Media Relations
Fishman PR
mbeaumont@fishmanpr.com
847-945-1300

Item 9 Labs Corp.
Investor Relations
investors@item9labs.com
800-403-1140

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