Fresno's first retail cannabis shop to open its doors on Monday

Security will be on site 24/7, in addition to cameras and an alarm.

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Saturday, July 9, 2022
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The Artist Tree, which doubles as an art gallery, will be the first cannabis dispensary to open within Fresno limits and will offer over 800 products.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Artist Tree is planting roots in Fresno.

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

"It's really bright, beautiful, we like to enhance the local community by bringing its own creativity and its own art presence and platform," said Vice President of Operations Kenny Perez.

The team at the Artist Tree is still putting the finishing touches on the store, which is set to open its doors on Monday and will offer more than 800 different products.

Perez said that includes 'anywhere from edibles, gummies, chocolate bars, cookies, brownies, Reese's Pieces to vapes to flower pre-rolls and thermal patches.'

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

"We believe in education and being able to tailor to people's lifestyles. So if I'm approaching cannabis for the first time, our guides are very well-versed in cannabis and the products we carry," said Perez.

You can self-navigate with touch screens that offer consultations, information on cannabis use and an order 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 layered with different materials so even if someone wanted to cut through the walls it's nearly impossible to," said Perez.

The cannabis industry is highly regulated by the state.

The City of Fresno limits the amount of permits.

Deputy City Manager Jennifer Ruiz said the application process is not only extensive, it's competitive.

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

Once that's evaluated by a panel of city staff and the interview process is complete, the final green light comes after a number of inspections when it comes to compliance and site-specific security.

"There's a number that are working their way through the process, so we'll see more open," Ruiz said.

In addition to the Artist Tree, at least one other cannabis shop is set to open its doors next week - that's Embark on Blackstone.

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