WOODLAKE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Albert Mesa has seen many changes in Woodlake over the years, but maybe none as striking as what's happening right now.
"Surprisingly we used to be a city that would look back and watch other towns benefit," Mesa said. "Now they're looking at us, and we're reaping the benefits of what we have now here."
Mesa is talking about marijuana.
City officials say Woodlake collected a total of $229,000 from cannabis business in 2018, which includes taxes imposed on the Central San Joaquin Valley's first recreational marijuana dispensary, Valley Pure, and fees from other businesses hoping to call Woodlake home.
So far, they've used the revenue to pay for playgrounds and a new police vehicle.
The money also helped fund equipment at the city's new community center-which is located directly behind Valley Pure.
"It's always good to see a city that was forward-thinking, have it pay off for them, have it pay off for the community, have it pay off for the business," said Valley Pure's Wes Hardin.
Mesa appreciates how the city is spending the money they've generated through cannabis, and pointed to another positive factor not included in the official figures-the dollars cannabis customers spend elsewhere while they're in town.
"By coming here and buying this cannabis, not only are they coming in and buying, but they're into our restaurants, into our stores, it's bringing us business," Mesa said. "We cannot deny that."
City officials expect to collect even more money when cannabis manufacturers and cultivators open for business. The annual tax for cultivation is $6 per square foot.
Woodlake collects $229,000 from cannabis business in 2018
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