Item 9 Labs — a vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator — has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sessions Cannabis, a cannabis retail franchisor in Canada.
"This is a transformative acquisition that fast-tracks our entry into the Canadian market and brings tremendous value to our shareholders," said Item 9 Labs Corp. CEO Andrew Bowden. "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."
Founded in 2019, Sessions currently has 43 stores throughout the Province of Ontario, the majority of which are located in prime retail shopping centers, typically anchored by national tenants such as Costco, Walmart, well-known grocers, quick service restaurants and more. The Ontario-based business has a franchise system comprised of 18 franchisees, the majority of which are multi-unit owners, and plans to continue its growth across Canada with multiple openings already planned for this year. Sessions also anticipates it will continue its consistently strong performance.
Item 9 Labs Corp. acquired ONE Cannabis Group in March 2021, the parent company to U.S. cannabis dispensary franchise, Unity Rd. – marking the company the first national vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor. The combination of the Unity Rd. franchise system—which currently has 20-plus partners developing more than three dozen stores across 10-plus U.S. states—with Sessions makes Item 9 Labs Corp. the largest global and publicly traded cannabis franchise company.