Verano, Mayor Irvin and City Officials Celebrate Grand Opening of Zen Leaf Aurora

Verano Opens Aurora’s First Adult-Use Dispensary In Illinois’ Second Largest City

CHICAGO, Ill., Oct. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verano, a leading multistate cannabis operator, today announced that Zen Leaf Aurora has opened and is providing legal access to regulated adult-use cannabis products in Illinois’ second largest city. Mayor Richard C. Irvin and other dignitaries from the City of Aurora participated in a ribbon cutting to commemorate the opening of the city’s first adult-use dispensary which is located in the heart of Aurora’s vibrant Route 59 retail corridor.

“We’re grateful to Mayor Irvin, the City Council and staff for passing responsible local regulations that allowed us to invest in the community, create local jobs and produce new tax revenue,” said George Archos, founder, chairman and CEO of both Verano and Zen Leaf. “This flagship regional dispensary brings together everything synonymous with the Zen Leaf brand – strong partnership with local officials, a passionate staff from the community, convenient access, ample parking, premium products and an elevated aesthetic. Zen Leaf is committed to providing a first-class shopping experience for novice or experienced cannabis customers.”

Municipal officials expect the legalization of adult-use cannabis to provide substantial new tax revenue for Aurora in the months and years ahead. Approximately half of the dispensary’s initial 38 employees are residents of Aurora. To prepare for their careers in the cannabis industry, the Aurora dispensary team members were trained at Zen Leaf St. Charles over the past several months.

“As a community disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs, we passed a socially responsible cannabis ordinance allowing the City to attract a high-quality, proven operator like Verano who shares our commitment to social responsibility, while reserving space for two social equity licensees,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin who also serves on the State of Illinois’ Restore, Reinvest and Renew (R3) Board that allocates cannabis tax revenue for community empowerment initiatives. “Verano was the first operator to approach Aurora about bringing its expertise and the Zen Leaf brand to Aurora, and the company kept all of its promises. Through Zen Leaf’s investment in Aurora residents and visitors now have safe, legal access to regulated cannabis products sold at a contemporary dispensary that provides jobs for residents and new tax revenue for our community.”

“It is an honor to help open Aurora’s first adult-use dispensary and we’ve hired a great team of passionate and knowledgeable team members to guide and assist customers with their cannabis experience,” said Katie Vaughn, general manager of Zen Leaf Aurora. “Whether you want to place an order in advance online or want to have an in-person consultation, we believe that your cannabis experience should always begin with an elevated and enjoyable shopping trip.”

Zen Leaf Aurora is located at 740 S. Route 59 and is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The dispensary is following all health and safety guidelines from state and local officials and has a mandatory mask policy for all guests and employees.

Adult-use customers 21 and older can view the current Zen Leaf menu by visiting, as well as reserve their product purchase online. After completing an online order, a customer receives a text message confirming their order, then it will be available in the express online-order fulfillment queue at the dispensary.

Zen Leaf Aurora is Verano’s twelfth operational Zen Leaf dispensary in its national portfolio to begin retail sales of medical or adult-use cannabis. Zen Leaf is a proprietary brand of dispensaries operated by Verano’s subsidiaries and affiliates, who also hold a variety of cultivation, processing, and dispensary licenses in a dozen states. Verano anticipates rapidly expanding the Zen Leaf brand over the coming months in Illinois with several additional planned flagship retail locations throughout the state. This includes the opening of Zen Leaf dispensaries at 1516 N. Naper Blvd. in Naperville and 909 Lincoln Ave. in Charleston, in addition to three dispensaries set to open at strategic locations throughout the Chicago suburbs in 2021.


About Zen Leaf Dispensaries: Zen Leaf is an established cannabis dispensary brand, committed to consumer care, education and progress by providing responsible access to premium products while creating employment opportunities across the communities it serves. Zen Leaf teams and facilities deliver an exceptional shopping experience, highlighted by deep community ties and engagement, attentive customer care and an elevated aesthetic. With 12 operational dispensaries currently spanning 7 states, Zen Leaf is among the fastest growing dispensary brands in the U.S. The Zen Leaf experience, in both medical and adult-use settings, incorporates cannabis products in all available formats, many in precision-dosed THC and CBD formulations, from the most coveted cultivator & processor partners in each market. Learn more at

About Verano: Verano is one of the largest, and fastest growing, vertically-integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the U.S. An operator of licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and retail facilities, Verano is devoted to the on-going development of communal wellness by providing responsible access to regulated cannabis products. Verano produces a full suite of premium, artisanal cannabis products sold under its trusted portfolio of consumer brands: Encore Edibles™, Avexia™ and Verano™. Verano designs, builds and operates inimitable Zen Leaf™ branded dispensary environments that deliver an elevated cannabis shopping experience in both medical and adult-use markets. Learn more at

About The City of Aurora: The City of Aurora is the second-largest city in the state of Illinois. Founded in 1847, Aurora is one of the first cities in the country to use electric street lights, earning the moniker ‘City of Lights.’ In addition to our storied history, beautiful architectural and cultural diversity, under the leadership of Mayor Richard C. Irvin and the Aurora City Council, Aurora is powering up investment in infrastructure and technology at unprecedented rates, making it now the ‘City of Light Speed.” Right now is an amazing time to live, work and be entertained in the City of Aurora. Learn more at

Zen Leaf Dispensaries:
Patrick Skarr,, 312-228-4789 (o), 630-768-3675 (m)
David Spreckman,, 312-819-4852 (o)

City of Aurora:
Clayton Muhammad,, 630-774-9306 (m)


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