Fresno’s first retail cannabis store, Artist Tree, will open on Monday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Artist Tree is putting down roots in Fresno.

The cannabis dispensary, which doubles as an art gallery, will be the first to open within the city limits.

“It’s really bright, beautiful, we love to enhance the local community by bringing their own creativity and artistic presence and platform,” said vice president of operations Kenny Perez.

The Artist’s Tree team is still fine-tuning the shop, which will open its doors on Monday and will offer more than 800 different products.

Perez said that includes “anything from edibles, gummies, chocolate bars, cookies, brownies, Reese’s Pieces to vapes to flower pre-rolls and heat patches.”

Plants are displayed and for sale in the grow cube where you can learn about their life cycle.

“We believe in education and being able to adapt to people’s lifestyles. So if I’m new to cannabis, our guides are very knowledgeable about cannabis and the products we offer,” said said Perez.

You can self-navigate with touchscreens that offer consultations, cannabis consumption information, and an ordering option.

As is the case with their four Southern California locations, security will be on site 24/7, in addition to cameras and an alarm.

“Our walls are also covered with different materials, so even if someone wanted to cut through the walls, it’s almost impossible,” Perez said.

The cannabis industry is heavily regulated by the state.

The City of Fresno limits the number of permits.

Deputy City Manager Jennifer Ruiz said the application process isn’t just long, it’s competitive.

Applicants must detail a business plan, hiring plan, neighborhood compatibility, safety, security and an element of community benefits, she said.

Once this has been assessed by a panel of city employees and the maintenance process is complete, the final green light comes after a number of site-specific compliance and safety inspections.

“There are a number that are moving forward in the process, so we will see more openness,” Ruiz said.

In addition to the Artist Tree, at least one other cannabis store is set to open next week – that’s Embark on Blackstone.

In total, the city will have 21 cannabis retail stores with a limit of three per district.

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Laura J. Boyer