Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
City Says Fresno Businessman Lied to PD. Has Cannabis License Revoked.
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 9 months ago on
August 9, 2023

Share

Accused of lying to police, a Fresno businessman had his cannabis permit revoked by city officials.

Eddie Rodriguez is listed as CEO and 70% owner of Truffle Tree 420. He received a microbusiness permit in the social equity category.

A memo Tuesday from City Manager Georgeanne White and deputy city manager Jennifer Ruiz to the mayor and city council stated that “the applicant admitted to making multiple false statements to the (Fresno police) Officer during the interview.”

The cannabis code states knowingly making false statements is a disqualifying factor.

Truffle Tree 420 received preliminary approval for its commercial cannabis permit and has an active conditional use permit application with the planning department.

The business also received grants and loans totaling $222,006 that will now have to be paid back.

“The City has sent an invoice to the applicant in an attempt to pursue repayment of any unspent monies,” the memo said. The city said it would “consider all potential remedies” to recover the money.

Neither Rodriguez nor his business partners responded to inquiries from GV Wire.

Truffle Tree 420 planned to open a cannabis-growing business in this downtown industrial location. (GV Wire/David Taub)

The Loan Agreement

Truffle Tree 420 was one of five social equity applicants to receive grant and loan funding. Several licenses in all categories — retail, microbusiness, and others — were set aside for the social equity category. Rodriguez qualified by having a low household income, with a past conviction for a cannabis crime.

The city council in 2021 approved a $1.2 million grant with the state Cannabis Equity Act Grant Funding, to assist with licensing and fees. It also provided no-interest loans.

On April 27, 2023, the city council, by a 5-1 vote awarded Truffle Tree a $75,000 loan, a $33,000 grant, and an additional $114,006 from state grants for start-up costs — a total of more than $222,000. Garry Bredefeld voted no, and Mike Karbassi was absent.

Councilman Has Questions

The proposed location for Truffle Tree 420 is in the council district of Miguel Arias. He said that he was “blindsided” by the news and wants answers.

“I’m not satisfied by the vetting that was done at the administrative level, nor am I satisfied by the explanation that was given for the termination of the loan,” Arias said. “If we’re going to terminate their loan, then we need a broader explanation than simply that the police department was not satisfied with their responses to questions.”

The city did not specify which statements to police were false. A spokeswoman said the city vetted the loan agreement with Truffle Tree 420 by revising the application and Livescan fingerprinting.

It is unclear why police were interviewing Rodriguez in June, even though his applications were already in city hands.

“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Arias said.

Arias said he voted for the loans based on a recommendation from the administration. His office is barred from conducting its own vetting, he said, to maintain neutrality in all cannabis licensing matters.

Applied for Retail Business Before

Rodriguez and his business partners applied for a retail license in 2021 under the name Supreme Flower Rx. Even though he was not granted a license, he still moved forward with the proposed location near the River Park shopping center.

At the time, Rodriguez told GV Wire that he qualified as a social equity applicant because he spent time in jail in 2000 for a marijuana conviction.

He also said the process for awarding licenses was unfair.

Wanted to Operate a Microbusiness

Fresno, in its 2018 regulations passed by the city council, defined a microbusiness as a cannabis cultivator of less than 10,000 square feet. Regulations of how and where to operate differ from those for retail marijuana businesses.

Truffle Tree 420 planned to operate at 245 M Street a block away from Highway 41. The location is in an industrial area near downtown Fresno, at the Lincoln Electric/Barnes Welding Supply building.

A construction crew was at the site Wednesday, working on the otherwise empty building.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

UP NEXT

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

UP NEXT

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

UP NEXT

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

10 hours ago

10 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

10 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 day ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend