Second cannabis dispensary planned for Villa Park

A second recreational cannabis dispensary in Villa Park is on the horizon.

On Monday, Villa Park trustees unanimously voted to allow GRD Illinois LLC to operate a Green Releaf location at 305 W. North Ave. The 4,200-square-foot building has been vacant for some time.

Green Releaf operates five medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri under CEO Jigueshkumar (Jay) Patel. The local petitioner, Mayank Patel speaking on behalf of GRD, emphasized the Villa Park location would be independently and locally owned and operated. Around 10 to 17 employees would be hired, and Green Releaf’s proposed hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Villa Park’s first cannabis dispensary opened in September 2020 as Columbia Care at 133 Roosevelt Road, though its name was later changed to Cannabist.

Before the vote, Trustee Deepasriya Kumar asked to confirm that Villa Park will also receive a 3% village tax imposed on all cannabis sales from Green Releaf. Villa Park previously designated that two-thirds of that tax revenue goes to the police and fire pension fund, while the remaining third is to be applied toward parks and a planned recreation center.

“So it’s a nice thing for the community at this point,” said Kumar after receiving confirmation on the local tax revenues from Village President Nick Cuzzone.

An email from Planning and Zoning Commissioner Mike Orlowski was also read out by Village Manager Richard Keehner Jr. Orlowski wrote that he would not have cast the lone “nay” from an earlier 4-to-1 vote on the dispensary at the Sept. 9 Planning and Zoning meeting if an architectural rendering of Green Releaf’s proposed modernist exterior renovations had been available.

“I like all of the improvements in the picture provided,” read Keehner on Orlowski’s behalf. He was also “glad that they took the commission’s input to some building enhancements.”

In documents, Mayank Patel stated that GRD also intends to update the building’s interior with a lobby, security area, office and storage room space.

No opening timetable for Green Releaf was offered, and GRD still needs to obtain separate permits from the village for new signage, interior and exterior remodeling plans.