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The U.S.’ first vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor is boosting its board of directors’ know-how.
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Item 9 Labs Corp., the first vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchise which acquired ONE Cannabis Group earlier this year, has announced the appointment of law enforcement official Joe DiSalvo and Item 9’s chief franchise officer Mike Weinberger to its board of directors.
DiSalvo brings decades of experience in supporting cannabis legalization. He is currently serving his third term as Sheriff of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, located in Aspen, Colorado, a position he has held since 2010.
Upon approval of Amendment 64 in Colorado, which made it the first state to legalize retail sale of adult-use cannabis, he founded the Valley Marijuana Council (VMC) to ensure there was education, safe use as well as safe storage and sale of the new retail products.
The VMC sponsored school education programs, enacted rules for dispensaries to follow in addition to the guidelines provided by the state, and educated parents on juvenile drug use. The organization also created an extensive program for dispensary employees to ensure each customer was properly educated before purchasing cannabis in Aspen.
“The success of legal cannabis comes down to one thing, education,” said DiSalvo. “Item 9 Labs is a people-first company with extensive education and training programs for its retail teams and the dispensaries that sell their products. They’re setting the bar for what conscious cannabis companies should do.”
Weinberger, meanwhile, leads all franchise-related growth areas of Unity Rd. – the retail arm of Item 9 Labs – while overseeing day-to-day operations of the franchise. A culture creator and growth driver with around 20 years in franchising, his professional experience has been focused on growing emerging concepts into nationally recognized brands.
He has been instilling his franchise knowledge into the cannabis space since 2018 and paved the path for bringing the franchise business model to cannabis, opening the doors to cannabis entrepreneurship through the Unity Rd. franchise opportunity.
“Cannabis is still relatively new to most,” said Andrew Bowden, CEO of Item 9 Labs. “There’s a lot of teaching to do and best practices to be shared, which makes Joe and Mike’s unique perspectives valuable assets for our future growth.”
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