FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – On Wednesday, it was announced Fresno had awarded its first recreational marijuana licenses to a number of prospective dispensaries.

Three licenses were awarded by the city manager in each of the seven city council districts for a total of 21 city-wide.

The mayor or city council can appeal any of the licenses awarded but one dispensary owner awarded a license says he is ready to keep the process going.

“There will be a series of next steps including conditional use permits and other approvals that will go through,” said Tim Dodd, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Sweet Flower set to open a dispensary in District 7, Councilmember Nelson Esparza’s district. “We’ve done this a lot in other jurisdictions.”

Dodd says there is still a ways to go before his team can start building their storefront, but is ready to make it happen once other permits are issued. Dodd says Sweet Flower will be hyper-focused on giving back to the community.

“It’s really important to look at cannabis as an economic enabler,” Dodd said. “We want to hire locally and that’s not just the staff but it’s also contractors, security, and all the ancillary things that we do with the business.”

According to city documents, the mayor or city council has 15 days to appeal any of the licensees issued, which would prompt a public hearing on that particular dispensary’s license. But Dodd feels Sweet Flower’s opening date is near.

“I’ll say as soon as possible, I’m really excited about Fresno,” Dodd said. “So we want to work really collaboratively with the city and staff.”