City Council to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Fresno

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Pot shops in the City of Fresno are a step closer to becoming a reality as the cannabis sales ordinance is set for another vote this week.

The move follows Mayor Lee Brand’s veto of a similar ordinance allowing adult-use cannabis sales at the end of 2019.

RELATED: Local leaders weigh in on Fresno mayor’s decision to veto cannabis sales

“Some of the updates that we made, they were minor in nature but are important to gain the support of the administration and the police chief’s endorsement,” said Fresno City Councilmember for District 3 Miguel Arias.

He says that Mayor Lee Brand’s veto of the cannabis sales ordinance was not intended to be permanent.

“The veto process is part of our charter. [Police] Chief Hall hadn’t had an opportunity to review it yet and give them feedback so it just worked out that we were able to get the feedback from the current police chief and bringing those minor adjustments.”

The newest version addressing four main concerns stemming from the December veto.

One of them is city resources. The required panic buttons in new cannabis businesses would now connect to private security, instead of the Fresno Police Department.

Another is streamlining the licensing process. Marijuana business licenses would now only be allowed to change hands during an annual renewal process.

The use of security camera footage has also been revised. Owners would now be required to keep surveillance footage for 90 days, instead of the previous 7 days or having to connect police to live streams.

And clarified wording in the ordinance itself, stating that both medicinal and recreational marijuana sales would now be allowed in the City of Fresno.

Arias says the revisions would also bring-in the incentive of having the lowest tax rate in the Central Valley.

“So we expect a lot of national, statewide and local business owners to come forward and apply for a license,” said Arias. “And, we’d begin to reap the benefits of the millions of dollars that currently is operating in the black market.”

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