Vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX:INLB) said Thursday that it had signed an asset purchase agreement for an existing dispensary license and storefront in Adams County, Colorado.
This will be the first corporate-owned shop under its cannabis dispensary franchise brand, Unity Rd. The move follows the signing of its newest agreements for New Jersey and Virginia.
The store is expected to open within the next four to six months. The Phoenix-based company is currently awaiting regulatory approval by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
This deal is part of an overarching acquisition strategy that is intended to accelerate national expansion by creating turnkey investment opportunities for Unity Rd. franchise partners, Item 9 said, adding that it plans to convert acquired dispensaries into Unity Rd. shops, operate them internally and sell them to an existing or future franchise partner.
“Our eyes are set on Colorado and building up the Unity Rd. brand to become one of the main players in the market,” Jeffrey Rassas, the company’s chief strategy officer said. “We’re in multiple ongoing negotiations with other Colorado dispensaries to become Unity Rd. shops. Here’s to the first of many.”
In addition, the company revealed that it’s targeting the Arizona, Montana and Oklahoma markets as part of these development efforts.
“With Unity Rd., we’re keeping dispensary ownership local and thriving with the backing of a franchise system,” Rassas explained. “This growth plan ultimately keeps dispensary ownership in the hands of the local entrepreneur. They hire local and keep the wealth cannabis offers within their community.”
Item 9’s shares traded 4.85% lower at $1.5700 per share at the time of writing Thursday morning.