Recreational marijuana sales begin at Naperville dispensary

  • Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico speaks Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the launch of recreational marijuana sales at Rise Naperville.

      Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico speaks Thursday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the launch of recreational marijuana sales at Rise Naperville. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Derrick Levy, Illinois district manager for Green Thumb Industries, addresses the crowd Thursday during a grand reopening ceremony of a renovated and rebranded Rise Naperville. The city's only medical marijuana dispensary is now selling recreational pot, too.

      Derrick Levy, Illinois district manager for Green Thumb Industries, addresses the crowd Thursday during a grand reopening ceremony of a renovated and rebranded Rise Naperville. The city's only medical marijuana dispensary is now selling recreational pot, too. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler watches the crowd gathering Thursday at Rise Naperville for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

      Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler watches the crowd gathering Thursday at Rise Naperville for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville's medical marijuana facility at 1700 Quincy Ave. has been renovated to accommodate the sale of recreational cannabis. A grand reopening was held Thursday to launch adult-use sales.

      Naperville's medical marijuana facility at 1700 Quincy Ave. has been renovated to accommodate the sale of recreational cannabis. A grand reopening was held Thursday to launch adult-use sales. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/8/2020 2:25 PM

Operators of Naperville's only medical marijuana dispensary didn't waste any time after being granted permission to sell recreational cannabis.

They got to work tearing down walls, expanding the sales floor, adding kiosks and remodeling the exterior of the existing shop at 1700 Quincy Ave., said Derrick Levy, Illinois district manager for Green Thumb Industries. Twenty new employees were hired, and a virtual waitlist was created to accommodate an anticipated influx in customers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Chicago-based company's swift preparations paid off Thursday when Rise Naperville became the city's first dispensary to sell adult-use cannabis.

Company and community leaders, including Mayor Steve Chirico, kicked off the facility's grand reopening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Profits from the first day of recreational sales are going toward the Loaves & Fishes Community Services nonprofit.

Rise Naperville, formerly 3C Compassionate Care Center, has been serving patients with medical marijuana cards since 2016. A state variance permitting curbside medical cannabis sales amid the COVID-19 crisis allowed Rise to continue serving those clients during facility renovations, Levy said.

Expanding the business model to also sell recreational pot gives Rise an opportunity to broaden its customer base, he said. That includes those who suffer from anxiety or chronic pain, but may not have a medical cannabis card.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"At the end of the day, we're really just about improving quality of life," Levy said. "We believe cannabis does that."

Green Thumb Industries was one of three recreational pot companies for which Naperville reserved occupancy permits last month, filling the city's cap weeks after the city council lifted a ban on adult-use sales. The new ordinance approved in August permits up to three dispensaries by right in certain zoning areas, as long as they meet various parking regulations, distance requirements and other provisions.

The city council's approval of recreational pot sales was the culmination of more than a year of heated debates, public input and an advisory referendum question in which 53.25% of 28,968 voters supported the use in town.

The other two operations seeking occupancy in Naperville include Sunnyside Dispensary at 2740 W. 75th St. and Zen Leaf at 1516 N. Naper Blvd.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.