Item 9 Labs Corp.'s Dispensary Brand Strengthens East Coast Footprint with First New Jersey Shop
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Item 9 Labs Corp.'s Dispensary Brand Strengthens East Coast Footprint with First New Jersey Shop

  • Local Entrepreneur Awarded Recreational Business License for Unity Rd. Cannabis Dispensary in Franklin Township in Somerset County, N.J.
  • New Development Brings Unity Rd. Footprint To Four U.S. States and Into the Northeast Region

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J., Dec. 16, 2022 // PRNewswire // - Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB) - vertically integrated U.S. cannabis franchisor and operator - announced today that its dispensary franchise, Unity Rd., is expanding its footprint with a new store in Franklin Township in Somerset County, N.J. This marks the fourth U.S. state for the burgeoning cannabis retail brand, and it is anticipated to be the first location to open on the East Coast.

The local Unity Rd. shop owner, Dishen Patel, received approval from the state of New Jersey and municipality of Franklin Township in Somerset County for a recreational business license. This approval is among the first licenses the state has awarded, outside of existing medicinal cannabis businesses that were converted after the recreational sale of cannabis was legalized in New Jersey. The entrepreneur has deep experience in private equity investing in consumer-driven brands, including several restaurant concepts with a franchise infrastructure.

The Company signed a licensing agreement with Patel as a vendor contractor, stating that Item 9 Labs Corp. will provide him with consulting services across real estate, licensing, compliance, operations, product procurement and marketing, among others. The Company's Unity Rd. team is aiding him through every step of the process of opening his cannabis retail store, setting him up to confidently operate a compliant cannabis business in his local community.

"Introducing our Unity Rd. brand to New Jersey represents another company milestone. Not only will we be entering a new cannabis market, but we are expanding our footprint in a high-population region that is increasingly supporting legalization," said Item 9 Labs Corp. CEO, Mike Weinberger. "We believe that as the New Jersey adult-use cannabis market continues to take off, the industry will reflect positively on the state's economy and residents."

New Jersey's recreational cannabis reform bills were signed into law on February 22, 2021, and legal sales began on April 21, 2022. According to New Jersey's Cannabis Regulatory Commission, recreational sales on the first day of operation reached nearly $1.9 million and rapidly increased to $80 million through the initial 10 weeks. The 2022 MJBiz Factbook projects the market will exceed $2 billion by 2026.

Weinberger continued, "With a population of approximately 8.8 million people and bustling metro areas like New York City and Philadelphia bordering the state, we anticipate the emerging cannabis market will become one of the largest on the East Coast."

New York and Connecticut are expected to begin adult-use cannabis sales in 2023 and several other Northeastern states are poised to push reform forward. With the region representing over 16 percent of the U.S. population, increased legalization will be a significant growth driver for the cannabis industry.

Patel joins three additional entrepreneurial groups that have signed agreements with the Company to develop Unity Rd. shops across New Jersey and are currently in various stages of development.

For more information about Item 9 Labs Corp. and its brands, visit item9labscorp.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-plus 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.

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 four shops open across the U.S. along with multiple agreements signed with 20 entrepreneurial groups who are developing the brand in 10-plus states. In 2021, Unity Rd. became the first member of its kind to join the International Franchise Association (IFA), solidifying its position as the first true cannabis dispensary franchise in the U.S. The franchise was also named one of the "Best Cannabis Companies to Work For" in the dispensary category for Cannabis Business Times' 2022 and 2020 lists. For more information, visit unityrd.

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 Item 9 Labs Corp.

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Contacts:

Jayne Levy
Item 9 Labs Corp.
SVP of Communications  
Jayne@item9labs.com

Item 9 Labs Corp.
Investor Relations  
800-403-1140  
Investors@item9labscorp.com

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