It’s official. Medical marijuana dispensaries can open up shop in the City of Fresno. After months of discussion, Fresno City Council members voted to approve regulations for cannabis businesses.
It’s now up to the City Manager to implement the new policy and create the application needed for cannabis business licensing. With just seven spots available in 2019, there will be tough competition.
420 College is a consulting firm for entrepreneurs seeing green because to get into the cannabis business legally, you need to comply with local regulations.
“Now the ones that been hiding in the shadows can come out into the light and can apply for permits,” said George Boyadjian, CEO of 420 College.
Boyadjian says Fresno is an untapped market for medical marijuana dispensaries.
“There’s only a handful of places where you can get legal cannabis in central valley. That’s what makes Fresno so hot,” said Boyadjian.
District 7 City Councilmember Clint Olivier tweeted the voting results from City Hall Thursday. Cannabis regulations he’s been working on for months — approved 5-2.
“But this was a great first step toward bringing Fresno into the regulated market where we can have tax money to light up our neighborhoods and not send that money out of town for other cities,” said Olivier.
Since Measure A passed in November, ten percent of cannabis revenue will go to the City.
“This is money that will be going into the general fund. It will be used for public safety. It will be needed for public safety,” said District 6 Councilmember Garry Bredefeld.
Public safety Fresno needs according to Bredefeld. He says states legalizing marijuana have seen an increase in crime, fatalities and children overdosing.
“So there’s all kinds of problems still associated with marijuana,” said Bredefeld.
Seven dispensary licenses will be available in 2019 — one in each district.. Then seven more in 2020. Boyadjian says the thorough regulations don’t favor the small business man but instead major players in cannabis.
“A lot of folks with a lot of experience with a lot of money are bidding on Fresno licenses,” said Boyadjian.
Once dispensaries settle in, city leaders say cannabis hubs for commercial activities will be next and have to set up shop along Highway 180 and 99.