Iconic Fresno buildings could become cannabis dispensaries

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FRESNO, California (KSEE) — As over 100 applicants in Fresno battle over 14 cannabis selling permits, some of Fresno’s iconic storefronts could be turned into dispensaries.

Applicant Kacey Auston-Tibbets has a vision of transforming the abandoned Bank of America building in the Tower District into a dispensary named Lemonade.

“This is the vault that BofA had,” said Auston-Tibbets. “We are going to utilize it for safety and security. ”

Auston-Tibbets grew up in Tower and even opened her first bank account at the same Bank of America.

“When this became available and I toured it, it brought back a flood of memories and I want to see the Tower District be the jewel of Fresno.”

Auston-Tibbets believes the old bank vault sets her plan apart from the other 100 applicants.

However, there are only 14 applications that will be chosen.

Applicants Dustin Moore and Lauren Carpenter from Sacramento put forward three proposals.

“Certainly, a tremendous amount of energy has been put into this and with that comes nervous excitement and cautious optimism of what could come next,” said Carpenter.

Fresno Cannabis Committee Chair Miguel Arias said many of the contenders are utilizing old buildings like the tower Chicken Pie Shop.

“An old restaurant, a bank, an old retail shop,” said Arias. “Mostly they are repurposed facilities.”

Zachary Drivon is another applicant.

“We were able to draw from that experience from our existing operation and it really fit our proposal and hopefully it will be our future operation there in Fresno,” said Drivon.

The city is in the early stages of the approval process, but if everything goes to plan dispensaries could start to open in the fall.

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