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Unity Rd. Joins the International Franchise Association, Solidifies Position as First Cannabis Dispensary Franchise to Become Members

- An Industry First, Dispensary Franchise Demonstrates a Model Brand Utilizing the Franchise Business Model for National Growth and Success -

PHOENIX -- Unity Rd., the cannabis dispensary franchise from Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB), continues to set the pace for growth and success in becoming the first brand of its kind to be named an International Franchise Association (IFA) member. Further solidifying its position as an industry trailblazer, Unity Rd. has broken barriers as the first national cannabis dispensary franchise model in the United States in response to increased demand from consumers and entrepreneurs alike.

The world's largest membership organization for franchises and franchise suppliers, the IFA is a prominent organization for industry-leaders, education, networking and growth opportunities. For more than 60 years, the IFA has represented excellence in franchising education, advocacy and advancement through the collective power of their membership. With more than 1,000 franchise brands across 300 industries, Unity Rd. is currently the sole franchise model to represent the plant-touching cannabis space.

"It's an honor to be the first cannabis dispensary franchise to become members of the IFA," shared Mike Weinberger, chief franchise officer at Unity Rd. "The franchise business model is proven to help current and future entrepreneurs succeed across a wide variety of sectors, but the cannabis industry has yet to tap into franchising. This is a high recognition in the franchising world, and we are confident it will be a mutually beneficial relationship as Unity Rd. continues to be a brand of 'firsts' and make our franchise opportunity more accessible nationwide."

Unity Rd. is primed for aggressive growth as states continue to legalize cannabis use for adults. Currently, the franchise has nearly 20 entrepreneurial groups developing the brand across the nation. Even with the economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, the demand for cannabis products surged to unparalleled levels and many states experienced record sales throughout the year. By the end of 2021, adult-use and medical cannabis sales in the U.S. are expected to reach upwards of $26.4 billion.

Unity Rd.'s proven performance coupled with high-tier franchise support has resulted in eager and sophisticated entrepreneurs and multi-unit operators flocking to the franchise opportunity. The brand is actively seeking qualified franchise partners in target development markets including Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma and the Northeastern United States.

Learn more about Unity Rd. franchise opportunities,
contact franchise@unityrd.com or 720-923-5262, or visit unityrd.com.

A Support System Backed by Industry Veterans and a Reliable Supply Chain

Despite the complexities of the cannabis industry, Unity Rd. has developed a streamlined approach and offers the safest route for entrepreneurs looking to stake their claim in this fast-growing industry. The Unity Rd. team boasts more than 200 years of combined legal cannabis and franchising experience, and provides guidance every step of the way – from securing a dispensary license to managing cash flow and product selection. The veteran team shares their knowledge and trusted resources, as well as provides the ongoing support needed to compliantly and successfully operate a dispensary.

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.

Unity Rd. franchise partners receive even more resources and supply chain connections as the brand was acquired by Item 9 Labs Corp.—a publicly-traded, award-winning cannabis operator—in March 2021. 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. 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 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.

SOURCE Unity Rd.