The now-closed Bank of America office in Fresno's Tower District is seen in this file photo. It will become a dispensary with council action this week.
Written by Frank Lopez
The Fresno City Council voted on the appeals of applicants for five rejected cannabis licenses at a special meeting on Wednesday.
The city council denied three cannabis licenses and declined to vote on one appeal. Only one applicant’s appeal was upheld, allowing it to proceed.
That dispensary is set to open at 1265 N Wishon Ave., formerly a Bank of America, under the Sacramento-based cannabis brand Lemonnade.
To apply for a new license, the rejected candidates would have to start the application process over again.
Public comment before the appeals were considered ranged in support of dispensaries in Fresno while others voiced concerns of crime, proximity to schools and minors being exposed to cannabis.
One councilmember tasked City Manager Thomas Esqueda with presenting proposals that reflect the values of the council and aren’t just driven by economic interests.
“…This body has continuously, through multiple policies and multiple actions, made it crystal clear that residential neighborhoods, schools, parks and community centers need to be protected and built up with positive amenities, not saturated with any particular business interest or any goal to generate revenue for the city,” said Miguel Arias.
The cannabis businesses that had their appeals rejected were two locations on Olive Avenue at 335 W. Olive Ave. and 1220 E. Olive Ave., and one location on Blackstone Avenue that would have gone in the space of a former Toledo’s restaurant.
No action was taken for the Artist Tree license at 1426 N. Van Ness Ave. in the former Audi’s Olympic space, which means a license is effectively revoked.