St. Charles marijuana dispensary poised to change location

  • The operators of the Zen Leaf marijuana dispensary in St. Charles are seeking to move locations from the St. Charles Commons office complex to a former Jared Jewelry store on Main Street.

      The operators of the Zen Leaf marijuana dispensary in St. Charles are seeking to move locations from the St. Charles Commons office complex to a former Jared Jewelry store on Main Street. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted3/3/2021 5:05 AM

A location move of less than 1,100 feet is about to make a world of difference for the Zen Leaf marijuana dispensary in St. Charles.

The city's plan commission on Tuesday approved a request from Healthway Services of West Illinois LLC, which operates Zen Leaf, to move from its current location in the St. Charles Commons office complex at 3714 Illinois Ave. to a former Jared Jewelry store in the Main Street Commons shopping center at 3691 E. Main St.

 

The distance between the sites is only two-tenths of a mile, but the move to a prominent shopping center at the southeast corner of Kirk Road and Main Street is a massive change for the dispensary that opened in 2015 as a medicinal facility but began selling recreational marijuana last year out of its office complex unit.

The city's aldermen, who approved Zen Leaf for recreational marijuana sales after a 6-4 vote, will review the proposal at Monday's planning and zoning meeting. Their support is expected for the move to a location Zen Leaf officials say is more appropriate.

"The proposed dispensary at its new location, it should allow for regional economic activity related to a newly established industry while limiting it in a way to minimize potential impacts on the community," said Zen Leaf Vice President James Leventis. "We're definitely hoping by moving to a more appropriate retail location that increased foot traffic will certainly help enhance the surrounding businesses and the community at large."

Tuesday's meeting served as a public hearing for the proposed move, but only one person spoke against the idea. The plan commission's approval came after a round of questions from committee members regarding parking and security plans.

The site's 38 spaces exceed the recommended number of 35, and Zen Leaf security adviser Ed Farrell said lighting and cameras will be sufficient.

Because a city ordinance allows one dispensary east of the Fox River, Zen Leaf must close its current location before opening the new one.

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