What once was a shuttered piano bar took on new life Saturday as recreational marijuana dispensary Verilife, which opened in Rosemont with the hopes of reaping the benefits of a new industry growing despite the pandemic.
About 50 people, mostly employees and dignitaries, gathered in the warm February sun for the short ceremony and ribbon cutting.
Nestled between the AMC movie theater and iFly indoor sky diving venue, Verilife is “in the open, but discreet enough,” Mayor Brad Stephens said.
“I don’t think it screams, ‘Come get high,’” he said. “The world has evolved to the point of having it be acceptable.”
The new store is located in the prominent Parkway Bank Park Entertainment District, a 200,000-square-foot complex east of the Tri-State Tollway.
The Rosemont board’s unanimous vote to approve the dispensary didn’t include the absent Trustee Jack Dorgan, a registered lobbyist for PharmaCann, the parent company of Verilife.
The village stands to make at least $600,000 a year from its 3% local tax on Verilife’s sales, according to a company estimate. Similar revenues could be seen from another recreational marijuana shop, EarthMed at 10441 W. Touhy Ave., which the board granted special use approval