Item 9 Labs—a vertically integrated U.S. cannabis franchisor and operator—announced today that its Chief Executive Officer Mike Weinberger has been appointed to serve on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) Retail Committee as a new member for the 2023-2025 term. Item 9 Labs Corp. and its brands initially joined the leading cannabis organization in February 2022.
In November 2022, Weinberger was promoted from Chief Franchise Officer to Chief Executive Officer at Item 9 Labs Corp., parent company to the first national cannabis dispensary franchise, Unity Rd., and award-winning Arizona cannabis product brand, Item 9 Labs. Weinberger has 20-plus-years of experience in franchising, focused on growing emerging concepts into nationally recognized brands. Since 2018, he has been instilling his franchise knowledge into the cannabis space and vice versa, meanwhile paving the path for bringing the franchise business model to the complex U.S. cannabis market.
Through launching the Unity Rd. dispensary franchise opportunity, he has opened the doors to local cannabis entrepreneurship in communities across the country. The marijuana franchise has grown to four dispensaries across three states and has multiple agreements signed with entrepreneurial groups who are developing the brand across 10-plus states. The Company is also approaching the completion of its transformational acquisition of Sessions Cannabis, one of Canada’s largest cannabis retail franchisors, with 45-plus locations across the province of Ontario and 15 multi-unit franchisees in its franchise network.
NCIA is the oldest, largest, and most inclusive trade association representing legal cannabis businesses. The leading industry organization is composed of hundreds of cannabis-related businesses dedicated to ensuring that their voice is heard regarding pivotal movements in cannabis legalization, regulation, and policy. The NCIA is leading the charge to protect the legal cannabis industry, defend state laws and advance federal policy reforms favorable to the industry as a whole. The organization works with its members to create more opportunities for small businesses in the sector.
As a member on NCIA’s Retail Committee, Weinberger is collaborating with like-minded individuals to share best practices on all aspects of opening and operating a retail storefront in the cannabis industry. The committee members will continue to work towards finding solutions to fundamental industry issues, including improving public perception, setting up a framework for new and existing businesses as cannabis inches towards equal banking, and descheduling and creating successful social equity programs.