From the start, our state of California has always been front and center to support the legalization of marijuana. Back in the 1970s, groups in San Francisco pushed for the little plant to be accepted as a form of therapy for AIDS patients (in light of the terrible epidemic sweeping through the city). Since that time, the Golden States has been a hub of activity for business owners, recreational users, and patients who seek the plant for personal or health reasons. However, displacement has been a huge problem among the counties in California for some time. Overall, our state has suffered from a NIMBY (not in my backyard) crisis in which counties and municipalities have made the decision to ban the plant (as dictated by federal and state law). However, in the wake of problems, Fresno appears to have climbed atop the pile after legalizing medical-grade marijuana. Let’s take a closer look and see what this city has been up to.

Pushing out the Unlicensed Business

Needless to say, this plan did not receive total support. In a recent article for the Fresno Bee, Marek Warszawki has argued that a recent approval for zoning and regulation is not enough to disband the black market for pot in California. Furthermore, he does not believe the city will receive enough income from this endeavor, as originally planned.

From this standpoint, we can see where Warszawki is coming from. After all, Fresno currently supports an estimated 70 dispensaries that are unlicensed and 40 delivery services in the same boat. However, members of the Fresno City Council have taken measures to license 7 dispensaries in the first 9 months since this decision and re-review applications for marijuana licensure. Ultimately, Council Member Clint Olivier (who kickstarted this decision in the first place) believe this is a strong step towards diminishing the black market in his city.

A Decision Stemming from Fear

Back in August 2017, the City of Fresno officially banned the businesses in the cannabis industry (for adults 21 and older) as part of a 4-3 vote, but Council Member Olivier believes this initial decision was made out of fear, not concern. Out of reaction to recent demands for the plant, Fresno officials organized a task force (containing three members) to consider how the city should tackle the legalization of medical cannabis.

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