Fresno City Council Casts Narrow Vote to Regulate Commercial Pot
In a 4-3 vote Thursday, Fresno leaders voted to permit up to 14 recreational marijuana businesses in the city. The plan would yield an estimated 10 million dollars in tax revenue.
The new ordinance will allow at least two shops to operate in every district of the city. A total of 36 commercial licenses will be issued — that is, if the ordinance isn’t vetoed by the mayor.
"This will mean that the biggest city in the valley will finally have a regulated cannabis industry," said Council President Miguel Arias (ABC 30).
“We need revenue to be able to pay for police, fire, and improve the neighborhoods, improve sidewalks, and the only way to do that regulates the industry," he added, "there's more than 100 illegal dispensaries throughout our city and provide these products customers."
The ordinance also contains a social justice provision, which was criticized by Councilman Garry Bredefeld.
“Why would we want to give people who've had criminal convictions for marijuana?” he asked. “Why would we put them first in line? It makes no sense.”