Carpentersville's first marijuana dispensary opens off Route 31
In the shadow of beleaguered Spring Hill Mall, the first marijuana dispensary in Carpentersville opened Thursday, bringing hopes of rejuvenating tax revenue in the village.
Village President John Skillman, members of the Chamber of Commerce and a staff of dozens -- many of whom live in town -- were on hand to celebrate the grand opening of Windy City Cannabis at 125 S. Western Ave. right off Route 31. It's the fifth Windy City facility in Illinois, with a sixth planned to open later this month in Macomb.
"Respecting that different people may have different views about cannabis, the reality is that recreational cannabis has been legalized in the state of Illinois," Skillman said. "They're projecting this will be their busiest store in the state."
Skillman said the village expects to receive $300,000 in tax revenue from Windy City Cannabis between now and the end of the year. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to hinder retail businesses, and with Spring Hill Mall remaining mostly vacant, Skillman said it's a much-needed boost to the budget.
Skillman said the 2018 closing of Carson's at Spring Hill Mall cost the village $500,000 in annual sales tax revenue.
Wren Berger, the vice president of retail at Windy City Cannabis, said staff training began three months ago at the location that was formerly a mattress store.
Berger said the Carpentersville location currently has 30 employees but could get more once COVID-19 protocols ease.
"Everyone we've dealt with here has been extremely helpful and excited," Berger said. "We're very grateful to be opening in Carpentersville."