The slow pace of opening retail cannabis stores in Fresno, Calif. has left the 2023 budget short by more than $3 million, prompting city leaders to expedite the process to get businesses up and running. is being considered for change.
California voters passed Prop. 64 in 2016, legalizing cannabis for adult use with over 57% of the vote. Two years later, Fresno voters approved an ordinance to tax the retail sale of recreational marijuana, setting the stage for the opening of adult-use cannabis stores in the city.
In 2019, the Fresno City Council amended the City Ordinance to regulate recreational cannabis, and in 2021, the city will begin awarding the first of 19 preliminary cannabis retail licenses issued to date. rice field. But more than a year later, he’s only opened two recreational marijuana retailers in Fresno, and the pace is wreaking havoc on the city’s budget projections.
The city’s budget, approved in 2023, projected that cannabis taxes and fees would generate $5.37 million in revenue into the city’s coffers. But with only two dispensaries open so far, the city is now projecting cannabis tax revenue of $2,113,100 and a deficit of more than $3 million. insanity,” he said.
“We continue to overestimate cannabis every year.” esparza said.
Only two clinics have ever opened in Fresno
Dispensaries opening in Fresno, Embark and Artist Tree began serving recreational marijuana customers on the same day in July 2022. The remaining 17 companies that were granted preliminary licenses have submitted applications for Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) that require approval. Before a building permit has been issued and construction or renovation of the site has commenced. So far, 13 of the 17 pending CPU applications have been approved, and he could have a new clinic opening in May this year.
Sontaya Rose, director of communications for the city of Fresno, noted that the timeline for building and opening pharmacies is controlled by business owners, not the city.
“So I can’t say for sure,” Rose said in an email. Fresno Bee.
“Overall, the site is taking longer to open than originally anticipated.”
City leaders and business owners in the cannabis industry cite several reasons for the slow pace of dispensary openings. According to the city, some of the upcoming clinics will be located in older buildings that need major renovations before they can open and begin serving customers. Others have had to make accommodations for their landlords, including waiting for current tenants to vacate the building so they can begin renovations on the site.
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