Item 9 Labs acquires Canadian cannabis dispensary brand  | Global Franchise
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Saturday 20th August, 2022

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Item 9 Labs acquires Canadian cannabis dispensary brand 

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Item 9 Labs acquires Canadian cannabis dispensary brand 

Item 9 Labs has gone global with the acquisition of Sessions Cannabis

Item 9 Labs has announced the acquisition of Sessions Cannabis, a cannabis retailer that produces award-winning, premium products. The cannabis dispensary franchise has signed a definitive agreement for acquisition with the Canadian retailer. 

“This is a transformative acquisition that fast-tracks our entry into the Canadian market and brings tremendous value to our shareholders,” said Andrew Bowden, CEO of Item 9 Labs Corp. 

“With an exponential increase in store count across North America, this acquisition would transition us from being a multi-state operator to an international cannabis company and the largest global cannabis franchisor. The potential to accelerate growth through both franchising and additional opportunistic acquisitions is immense. This is simply the first step to much deeper market penetration, both in Ontario and other provinces.” 

Sessions was founded in 2019 and currently has 43 locations in Ontario, many of which are located in retail shopping centers or attached to larger stores such as Costco, Walmart, quick-service restaurants and more. A majority of the Sessions network of 18 franchisees are multi-unit owners, and are anticipating strong growth and more new store openings in 2022. 

Canada is the world’s second-largest cannabis market, and brought in around CA$3.9bn in sales in 2021, a 50 per cent year-on-year growth. Ontario is the country’s most active cannabis market, with sales in the province alone valued at CA$1.47bn in sales in 2021. 

“The Canadian cannabis market has grown tremendously over the past few years, and we have certainly felt that impact and benefitted from first-mover advantage in several markets,” said Steven Fry, CEO and co-founder of Sessions, noting that Sessions’ locations that have been open for more than a year see an average annual revenue of CA$2.46 million.  

“We have amazing multi-unit franchisees and a solid franchise system that is dedicated to their success, but to further innovate within the industry and expand our reach, we need the right partner. We believe we have found that with Item 9 Labs Corp. and their franchise brand, Unity Rd.” 

Unity Rd.’s chief franchise officer, Mike Weinberger, feels a strong synergy between the two brands. 

“From the brand values and education-first approach with customers to the rock-solid franchise program Steven and his team have built, there are several similarities across Sessions and our Unity Rd. franchise brand,” said Weinberger. 

“This is a huge opportunity for Item 9 Labs Corp. and further solidifies our mark as leaders in cannabis franchising.” 

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