Fresno's first two retail weed stores are finally open

Councilmember Miguel Arias was the first customer at Embarc Fresno Cannabis Dispensary at Blackstone and Gettysburg.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022
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The Artist Tree at Palm and Nees and Embarc at Blackstone and Gettysburg became Fresno's first cannabis dispensaries to open their doors on Monday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After Fresno voters approved the legalization of cannabis sales in the city four years ago, the city received about 100 applications for cannabis licenses.

On Monday, two cannabis dispensaries opened for business.

The two stores are The Artist Tree located at Palm and Nees, and Embarc Fresno Cannabis Dispensary at Blackstone and Gettysburg.

Customers came to sniff the product at Embarc after it opened early Monday morning.

"It is such an honor to have the ability to open our doors and make history with the first transaction in the city of Fresno," said Embarc's owner, Lauren Carpenter. "I really think this is a pivotal moment for this city."

The store offers everything from THC edibles to cannabis flowers.

RELATED: Here are all the rules Fresno's pot shops have to follow

Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias was the store's first customer.

"I bought some CBD, some palm lotion for my mom, a little bit of good night edibles for myself and then some good vaping for the weekend trip to Vegas."

Carpenter said: "To have city leadership stand in this room and say 'there's nothing to fear' with legal, regulated cannabis is a huge acknowledgment of the role our industry can play."

The receipt from Arias' $67.16 purchase shows the city of Fresno Cannabis tax came out to $2.58 while the state tax was $7.09 on this sale.

"There are plenty of taxes in legal cannabis so the city will be realizing 4% of gross receipts," said Carpenter.

Arias agreed.

"We're anticipating millions of dollars in this year's city budget coming directly from cannabis retail sales of legal shops," he said.

Arias added that with two cannabis stores now open in Fresno, there's no need to buy from stores in Woodlake or other Valley cities. He said buying local keeps the tax money in the city.