Nearly 100 applicants are competing for licenses that would give them the right to legally sell marijuana in the city of Fresno.
The city is allowing two retail licenses in each of its seven council districts. Among the 14 applications that will ultimately be approved, between one and four must come from applicants who submitted them under a special “social equity” category.
The social equity criteria include income, past conviction for a cannabis crime and living in a environmentally unfriendly area (as determined by state data). An equity applicant must be a majority owner of the cannabis business.
Currently, only the proposed locations for the 75 standard license applications have revealed. The locations proposed in 22 social equity applications will be released next week.
The city has updated the number of applicants in each category since a December GV Wire report on the status of licensing, only slightly changing the overall figures.
Map of Proposed Cannabis Retail Locations
Click on map to zoom and scroll to individual locations.
Where Retailers Can and Cannot Be Located
Data shows several of the standard license applicants are proposing locations along the Blackstone corridor. Six council districts have boundaries near Blackstone Avenue.
Under Fresno’s cannabis ordinance, the City Council has the option to add seven additional cannabis retail locations in the future — one more in each district.
Marijuana retailers are subject to specific zoning rules, which limit location mainly to commercial areas. They cannot be within 800 feet of “sensitive” locations such as schools, day care/youth centers or other cannabis shops.
Several applicants filed for more than one location, including The Artist Tree (in the Tower District and at Nees/Palm) and The Green Habit (downtown and Clinton/Highway 99).
According to a city timeline, a review of the applications runs through late February. Interviews with applicants will take place in April, and final licensing decisions are expected by August.
The city council on Thursday will also vote to establish an equity assistance program. Derived from commercial retail applicants, the fund would go to equity candidates for workforce development, access to affordable commercial real estate, access to financing and providing legal services and business administration.
District 3 Has Downtown and Tower Applicants
District 3, represented on the City Council by Miguel Arias, has seen 11 applications for the downtown area alone. A total of 22 standard applications have been filed for the district overall.
The district also includes part of the eclectic Tower District, south of Olive Avenue. Three standard applicants have proposed locations on Olive Avenue, with five more along Fulton Street between Olive and Belmont avenues.
The Tower District’s north side is covered by District 1, represented by City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria. There are six standard applicants in the vicinity of the Tower District for that council area.
“Both applicants took the time to meet with our membership, discuss their vision, ask for input on how they could be better community partners and committed to revitalizing vacant buildings in blighted areas of the district that otherwise would go vacant as few have had the financial means, or business model to develop and sustain the properties,” TDMC executive director Tyler Mackey said.
“We wish them luck as they work to bring the old Bank of America building and the former Full Circle Brewery space in the Van Ness Village, respectively, back into the Tower business network and create expanded economic opportunities for the entire community,” Mackey said.
Another Applicant Cluster at Shaw and Blackstone
All but one of the 11 standard applications for District 4 are centered at the Shaw and Blackstone avenue intersection. Three of the proposed locations are in the shopping center at the southwest corner of the intersection.
Another one is located at Ashlan Avenue and First Street.
Northeast Fresno District 6 Has Fewest Permits
District 6 Councilman Garry Bredefeld has been the most vocal critic of allowing marijuana retailers into the city. Perhaps that is reflected in the fewest number of standard applications — five — for that area of the city.
Two more District 2 permits are for locations at the northeast corner of Shaw and West avenues.
Four of the seven District 5 standard applications are along the Kings Canyon Road corridor. Another Kings Canyon retailer is in District 7.