Zen Leaf opens Naperville's 2nd marijuana dispensary

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- A second marijuana dispensary, Zen Leaf, opened in Naperville Saturday morning.

The first adult-use-only dispensary is located at Ogden Avenue and Naper Boulevard.

"I didn't expect it to look like this. It looks fantastic," said John D, Naperville resident. "I think the money's going to go back to the community. I think it's a great idea."

RELATED: Illinois Weed Legalization Guide

Doors officially opened at nine after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor Steve Chirico was on site for the launch of Zen Leaf. He expects to see the dispensary help fight the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The three dispensaries that will be located in Naperville, when they're up and stabilized, will generate as much or more sales tax revenue for the city of Naperville than our entire downtown business district combined," Mayor Chirico said.

Mayor Chirico said the dispensaries could add more than $2 million of extra revenue each year as well as new jobs.

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"It's not sandwich shop jobs, these careers. These are people who are, who are probably going to have a career for many, many years, maybe their entire career in this industry," Mayor Chirico said.

Mayor Chirico also hopes the opening of the dispensary will help surrounding businesses.

"It's on par with the best of the best in high-end retail across any industry," said David Spreckman, Zen Leaf.

Naperville initially banned the sales of marijuana, but the city council decided to allow marijuana dispensaries back in August.

Mayor Chirico and Zen Leaf spoke to the concerns after a failed push by community members to stop recreational marijuana's arrival.

"We just want to be a good community member, to help educate and provide responsible legal cannabis," Spreckman said.

"I think we, we have rules in place that are going to protect the public and that are going to allow these businesses to thrive," Mayor Chirico said.

The council voted to allow up to three dispensaries to operate in the city. This is the second overall dispensary to open.


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