Item 9 Labs Corp. (OTCQX: INLB). is changing a multi-billion dollar industry landscape. While it's good for the company and those wanting its products, it's potentially excellent news for investors as well. Yes, there are lists of companies intending intending to change industry, but the fact is that few actually can. Roadblocks to growth include lack of funding for expansion, management incapable of moving business plans forward, and, most often, limitations imposed by the products they sell. None of that's the case for Item 9 Labs Corp.
This company is doing things differently, better, and most importantly, blazing a trail, providing them a first-to-market advantage as a franchising innovator in a current $25 billion sector. And investors and those wanting to take advantage of personal business opportunities are paying attention. They should. Item 9 Labs is separating itself from a c-bis sector crowd with its share of inscrutable players. Many INLB competitors quickly say they have the next greatest thing for their booming sector. Most don't and never will.
Of course, investors usually hear what they want to hear and neglect to see what's actually in front of them. Once they do, and sometimes after losing considerable investment dollars, those investors are left with little more than a stock certificate with little to no value. That's why it's best to follow the leader.
But not just one blazing a trail of new opportunity but also one that has earned its reputation as one of the country's most transparent vertically integrated CBD franchisors and operators. Item 9 Labs Corp has done that. And not only are its business practices to be admired but so are its products. Its product portfolio is so good that its high-grade, award-winning profiles helped change industry standards in national markets through distinctive retail experience, cultivation capabilities, and product innovation.
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An Infrastructure To Accelerate Growth
That mission to change is supported by over 20,000 square feet of operations space zoned to grow and cultivate flower. To date, Arizona-based Item 9 Labs Corp has collectively earned and achieved over 300 franchises awarded in more than 5 countries, more than 100 concepts supported for franchise development, 24 cannabis industry awards, and cannabis licenses in 15 states that are supported by multiple cultivation sites. It all points toward a simply stated mission- elevate trust in cannabis and inspire confidence in its value across consumers, patients, investors, and entrepreneurs.
Of course, leveraging excellent management is vital to the equation. Item 9 Labs checks that box as well. Its team combines a diverse skill set with sector and product knowledge, franchising, and capital markets experience. Those talents do more than work well together; they are spearheading Item 9 Labs to lead a new generation of public companies committed to providing transparency, consistency, and well-being. The success of their efforts shows.
In addition to the awards, premium dispensary placements, and achievements above, INLB's subsidiary, Unity Rd., is the first plant-touching concept to become a member of the International Franchise Association (IFA). That admission is doing more than providing INLB a solid foundation to build on; it facilitates expedited growth for tomorrow. A large part of that opportunity extends through its plan to bring sector entrepreneurship to the masses through franchising opportunities. The best part of that initiative from an investor's perspective is that they are the only company doing it. Others may discuss similar plans, but most haven't cleared the first hurdle.
That first-to-market advantage can't be under-appreciated. Moreover, when that position is combined with a motivation to sell only the highest quality products supported by the communities they serve, INLB, and its franchisees, operate from a place of strength. That success potential gets even more significant by focusing on producing and supplying best-in-class products and user experience across several market categories. INLB's unique dispensary franchise model through the national Unity Rd. retail brand ensures its partners meet those standards.
Unity Rd. Opens Doors To Seamless National Expansion
Unity Rd. is doing another thing for INLB and the sector; it's re-staging the future of the consumer experience in an industry that is in hypergrowth. Unity Rd. is also a trailblazer as the first national dispensary franchise in the U.S., with more than 20 partners developing the brand across 9 states and, as noted, recognized as the first plant-touching c-bis industry concept to become a member of the IFA. That's a big deal that can help generate potentially exponential company growth.
Keep in mind that during this process of creating value, INLB won't give much away. From cultivation to retail, Item 9 Labs Corp. features a diverse product line ranging from flower to concentrates and consumables. And from the business side, the company's retail experience and franchise opportunities provide entrepreneurs and consumers an elevated experience built on a dedication to education and community. It's an idea and mission that's more than innovative; it's transformative to a sector, consumers, and those wanting access to the industry.
Work done is starting to deliver rewards. INLB recently expanded into multiple markets and is accelerating plans to expand its product portfolio and influence nationwide. That expansion can happen sooner than later by being precise in cultivation, utilizing innovative extraction methods, and implementing a modern retail model and customer experience. That's the huge advantage of being a fully vertically integrated company.
Revenues Matter Too, INLB's Are Growing
Infrastructure and an excellent business plan are essential. But revenues are the engine driving success. And INLB isn't missing a beat. Capitalizing on legal sales of CBD products in the U.S., which grew 40% to $25 billion last year, INLB is generating income from nationally recognized products, selling over 2 million units last year. As a top brand in one of the most sought-after markets in the nation, sales are expected to appreciate considerably. They are certainly in the right place at the right time. It's estimated that the total U.S. economic impact from those sales is expected to reach $160 billion by 2025. And with INLB revenues surging over 261% year-over-year, it's apparent they are seizing opportunities.
That's evident from its financials published highlighting performance during the first nine months of its fiscal year ending June 30, 2022. That report showed revenues jumping 12% to $17.8 million, supported by a gross profit of $6.7 million. While those revenues may not fall as fast toward the bottom line today, expect that to change. Cash, cash equivalents, and escrow balances of roughly $9 million are expected to contribute appreciably to growth initiatives at the back end of this year. Plenty is happening to support that expectation.
Agreements, Expansions, Project Development
INLB announced signing a definitive agreement to acquire Sessions Cannabis, one of Canada's largest retail franchisors. Upon closing, expected by the end of this year, INLB would become the largest publicly traded sector franchise company. They also announced that the dispensary franchise Unity Rd. opened the first non-tribal, state-licensed medical cannabis establishment in South Dakota in a suburb of Sioux Falls.
That deal added to another franchise agreement expanding business interests in Colorado with a new store opening in July 2022 in North Denver. And after receiving license approval to open a dispensary in the Cherry Creek neighborhood of Denver, INLB said it expects to have that location fully operational by the end of 2022. That's not all they did. Earlier this year, INLB signed an Asset Purchase Agreement for a medicinal and recreational dispensary and cultivator, The Herbal Cure, in the up-and-coming Washington Park near Denver. Progress to close that deal is continuing, and once closed and if history can repeat, could add revenues upwards of $5.4 million to INLB's streams. That location will be Unity Rd.'s first future flagship location.
Development also continues for its 20,000-square-foot cultivation facility in Pahrump, Nevada, with that facility expected to be completed and fully operational by the end of 2022. It adds to the Master site development at INLB's Coolidge, Arizona, cultivation and lab facility. Building and greenhouse footings will contribute to a planned expansion to 85,000 square feet of operations space. That project is scheduled to get completed by Q2 2023.
A Lot To Like From A Well Operated Item 9 Labs
Indeed, there's a lot to like about Item 9 Labs Corp. The biggest attraction, though, may be that since going public, the company continues to make prudent and significant strides in rolling out its retail franchise footprint into additional markets, suggesting that the INLB mission is moving forward at accelerating speed. That means the best news for the company and its investors is yet to come. Steepening revenue curves, logistical growth momentum, and continued gains in market share should deliver those results faster than many expect.
Thus, for those liking to take advantage of ground-floor opportunities in exciting companies exploiting massive market opportunities, keep INLB on the radar. Better yet, knowing that INLB is creating a path for others to try to follow and understanding that they are changing the rules in a booming industry, consider investing in a leader rather than a potential follower. It's hard to do what INLB has done thus far. But keeping in mind what's planned and having the cash to follow through, the gaps between Item 9 Labs and competitors may get more expansive, which makes investment consideration timely as well.
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