Cannabis Franchising: Giving Credibility to a Controversial Industry

Franchise news, franchise industry updates, information for franchisees, franchisors

Cannabis might not be legal everywhere, but it has been deemed as an essential service in many states through the pandemic. “We were able to stay open and comply with social distancing regulations by offering curbside pickup and delivery services,” says Unity Rd. COO Mike Weinberger. “Business has been very much in demand through the pandemic with customers stocking up at the onset,” he says about Unity Rd., the first-ever franchised cannabis dispensary. “Similar to alcohol, cannabis provides an escape, but it has many medical benefits as well,” he adds.

Weinberger and his impressive team are true pioneers. Made up of cannabis veterans and franchise pros, Unity Rd.’s leadership is working to make history. They have set out to take a fragmented, hard-to-navigate industry and turn it into a mainstream, lucrative business opportunity. “There is no playbook for this business. By franchising it, we are adding  legitimacy with systems to follow,” he adds. Weinberger, couldn’t be more qualified for his role. An attorney, he was CEO of Maui Wowi, a franchisor with 500-plus units. 

Breaking the stereotype

Some folks might think of cannabis as taboo, or part of a counterculture, but in many parts of the country, it’s a mainstream luxury, similar to fine wines or gourmet coffees. And cannabis is big business. In fact, in Colorado, it has been legal for 10 years with more than 400 dispensaries operating. “Cannabis is a 30-billion dollar industry and is projected to grow to 50 billion in the next four years,” says Weinberger.   

The seedy, underground image of cannabis is fading fast. In Chicago, for example, the city’s first dispensary in the downtown area opened in May near the city’s acclaimed magnificent mile, amongst high-end shops and five-star restaurants. “It is already legal in 33 states in some form and it’s just a matter of time for the rest,” says Weinberger.   

   “We are bringing a whole new industry to franchising.”


By franchising the cannabis dispensary business, Unity Rd. is taking the highly controversial and fragmented industry and giving it credibility. COO Mike Weinberger (above, left) and CEO Christian Hageseth (above, right) are excited to pioneer an entirely new opportunity in franchising. 

Often referred to as the “Green Rush,”  the cannabis business has been creating wealth for a pioneering group. With a franchised dispensary, Unity Rd. has created a tremendous opportunity for the right investor. Here’s why:

$30-billion-dollar industry

Experienced leadership team

Emerging brand

Unique business

Ground-floor opportunity

Structure and support

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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