The “Lilac Village” is now offering another kind of greenery.

After a soft-open that began March 16, Zen Leaf was officially welcomed Friday as Lombard’s first recreational-use marijuana dispensary. Village President Keith Giagnorio and Zen Leaf managers were on hand to deliver speeches and for a ribbon cutting.

“Whether it’s a seasoned user or someone brand new to cannabis, we want to make sure that they leave here with something that they will benefit from or enjoy,” said Lombard Zen Leaf General Manager Ariel Vantellinen.

The approximately 3,200-square-foot space at 738 Butterfield Road was previously an Anthony’s Pizza restaurant. Lombard is Zen Leaf’s seventh Illinois location, and the recreational-use marijuana dispensary chain is owned and operated by Chicago-based Verano Holdings.

Zen Leaf is touting its female management team in Lombard, which oversees a staff of 30.

Assistant manager Annamarie Krecicki left a billing job in the medical insurance industry in November to work for Zen Leaf.

“It’s been exciting,” Krecicki said. “It’s such a diverse group of people, and everybody’s here because they believe in cannabis and they want to change perceptions of it.”

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