The vertically integrated cannabis dispensary franchisor and operator that produces premium, award-winning products, Item 9 Labs Corp., announced that the Company has broken ground on the master site expansion of its Coolidge, Arizona cultivation & lab site.
Item 9 Labs Corp. has been cultivating, manufacturing, and processing Item 9 Labs products—the Company’s elevated mainstream marijuana brand—since 2017 from its existing 19,200 sq. ft. facility, which sits on five acres. As part of the master site expansion, the Company recently acquired the neighboring 45 acres and anticipates increasing its operations space to 640,000+ square feet; a 3,100% increase from its current operations. At 50 acres, the site is one of the largest properties in Arizona that is zoned to grow and cultivate flower.
The initial development phase is estimated to be completed in Summer 2022 and includes the construction of three steel buildings and two greenhouses – adding 9,600 sq. ft. for indoor cultivation, 9,600 sq. ft. of lab and packaging and a 9,600 sq. ft. head house to support the addition of the two 18,000 sq. ft. greenhouses.
“With phase one of our expansion, we expect to increase output of our high-quality flower by 30-35%,” says Cory Carter, vice president of cultivation of Item 9 Labs Corp. “Our greenhouses will reduce reliance on third-party sourced material for lab productions by 40-50%.”
Item 9 Labs Corp. expects to complete the master site development in the next few years. All told, the site will consist of:
– Eight steel buildings, all under 10,000 sq. ft. each – one building will be dedicated to lab expansion and house finished product, while the other seven buildings will be used for indoor cultivation;
– 16 18,000 sq. ft greenhouses or greenhouse support buildings;
– Six 9,600 sq. ft headhouses; and
– Five acres of outdoor cultivation.
Andrew Bowden, CEO of Item 9 Labs Corp., says, “During this first phase of expansion, we anticipate hiring another 60 to 70 team members across cultivation, processing and packaging positions, with a goal of creating more than 200 jobs by the conclusion of our master site development.”
Expansion of the existing lab allows for the addition of more state-of-the-art equipment for all extraction processes. Having equipment that allows different extraction processes is important for product diversification.
The Company’s Lab Manager Eric Eisele says, “Each extraction process has its own pros and cons. Extraction material can give you different end products depending on strain, freshness, cure, and trim versus fresh frozen full flowers. The end goal of each process is to offer a highly potent end product. Our new facility will ensure we’re set up for each result wanted.”
Nick Bowden, vice president of construction and real estate for Item 9 Labs Corp., is leading development on the expansion. Scottsdale-based Alexander Building Company is the contractor and Tempe-based Upward Architects are the architects.
“Building one of Arizona’s largest cultivation sites is a milestone for us,” Alexander Building Company’s President Shane Alexander said. “Their team shares our same forward-thinking, sustainable mindset when it comes to development. It’s entrepreneurial companies like Item 9 Labs that excite us.”
In celebration of the groundbreaking, Item 9 Labs Corp. is expanding its annual holiday food and toy drive for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona with a donation of $5,000 – signifying the expansion across its 50-acre site.
Photo: Item 9 Labs/PRnewswire