Issues around how many recreational cannabis dispensaries can be located in Park Ridge and where they can be located are ongoing.

Sociale started a soft launch Aug. 22 and a grand opening is set for Sept. 7 to 10 at the dispensary, 1036 West Higgins Road. Marketing manager Sam Schlesinger said Sociale will be offering merchandise giveaways and on-site vendors.

Owner Annu Khot, who grew up in India, said she hopes the dispensary’s proximity to O’Hare International Airport attracts tourists. She also said she’s excited that Sociale, pronounced so-she-AHL, will be Park Ridge’s first dispensary.

With newcomers to dispensaries in mind, Khot said she is focused on delivering an “exceptional customer experience.” She added, “I will not even say customer service, because customer service is so basic.”

For Khot, it is important that the store’s associates, or budtenders, educate customers on what they are buying, and that it can be used as an alternative medicine. However, “we are not medical advisors,” Khot said. “You’re buying from people who are not medically trained and we have disclaimers all over our dispensary as well, but giving an exceptional customer experience is huge for Sociale.”