‘Pinedale Pride’ neighbors protest against planned cannabis shop near elementary school

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – A few dozen people living in the Pinedale community were rallying to put more distance between a planned cannabis shop, called Lemonnade, and Clovis Unified School District’s Pinedale Elementary School.

“Our school motto at Pinedale Elementary is ‘Pinedale Pride.’ But how can our students be proud when the gateway to their community is a weed store?,” Lori Garcia a teacher at the school said Tuesday.

On the other hand, Rico Saldivar, who owns Red Wave Tattoo across from the proposed shop, welcomes the addition, saying he believes it’ll help the community.

“I think the security measures that they have to take for their business to even be established here is going to make this a safer area,” Saldivar said.

The City approved the shop’s permit at Minarets and Blackstone last month, but Clovis Unified raised concerns and district councilmember Mike Karbassi appealed saying the proximity of the applicant’s location to the school was “extremely troubling.”

The cannabis shop is required to be 800 feet from a school, which if built on the edge of the property it would be, but the parcel of land it sits on falls within the buffer zone.

“The children have no voice in this. Somebody has to stand up for our kids,” one Pinedale resident said.

Saldivar said he’s been in the area nearly two decades and never sees children near the lot.

He said the shop will help the surrounding economy and he’ll be speaking out at city council on its behalf.

“If anything I think it’s going to bring the value up in this area and I look forward to seeing them be able to conduct business here,” he said.

Both sides will present their cases to the City Council Wednesday and will need a majority vote of 4.

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