Since the sale of recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2020, residents of Forest Park have had to travel out of town to indulge. But after nearly two years of waiting, one business’ fleeting promise to bring legal weed to the village suddenly vanished into thin air, and in doing so revealed a prolific scam that a bar manager, who was unwittingly dragged into the con, said first popped up a year earlier.

Dankwoods Dispensary, a four-star-rated store whose Google listing included pictures of a brightly lit shop with racks of product and smiling customers, set up operations in Forest Park most recently this November, and it wasn’t long afterward that Matt Sorice started seeing customers walk through his front door.

The problem for Sorice is he didn’t know the first thing about Dankwoods Dispensary, even though the shop’s listed address, 7307 Roosevelt Road, was the same as the bar he manages, Carole’s Next Best Thing.

“At first I didn’t realize it was a scam being run,” Sorice said. “I just thought it was a wrong address, and we all thought it was kind of funny. Then one day a girl came in and she was like, ‘I

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