ROGERS PARK — Green Gate Chicago dispensary has begun serving recreational customers ahead of being acquired and rebranded by one of the state’s biggest weed companies.
Green Gate, 7305 N. Rogers Ave., began selling recreational marijuana April 1. Since opening in 2018, the dispensary had only served people who need medical marijuana.
The independent dispensary remained medical-only even when Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law went into effect at the start of 2020. Green Gate applied for a recreational license, but it only came through recently, said assistant general manager Colin Miller.
“It wasn’t our decision so much,” he said. “It took the state until now to approve the license.”
The state application was boosted by Green Gate agreeing to be acquired by Verano Holdings, Miller said. Chicago-based Verano cultivates and produces cannabis products and operates in 14 states, with eight dispensaries in Illinois under its Zen Leaf brand. Verano was founded by George Archos, who owns the Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe chain of diners.
Verano Holdings is working to finalize a deal to acquire Green Gate, Miller said. The dispensary will rebrand to Zen Leaf Rogers Park in May or June, he said.
Zen Leaf already has shops in north suburban Evanston and Highland Park and northwest suburban Prospect Heights. It has four western suburban locations and one in downstate Charleston. Zen Leaf’s website says it has plans to open in the West Loop and the Near West Side Medical District.
Green Gate will try to keep focusing on the neighborhood and being involved in the community as it expands to sell for recreational purposes and rebrands, Miller said. Company representatives have appeared at events like the Glenwood Avenue Arts Festival and the Jarvis Square Music & Arts Festival, and the store has held events with restaurants Peckish Pig and Charmers Cafe.
The company’s transition has been “really smooth” so far, Miller said.
Green Gate is open for medical and recreational customers 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. For more information, click here.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.