Northeast Fresno welcomes Banyan Tree dispensary, boosting revenue hopes for city leaders

Ana Torrea Image
Sunday, May 19, 2024
Northeast Fresno welcomes Banyan Tree dispensary, boosting revenue hopes for city leaders
Banyan Tree Fresno held its grand opening on Saturday, joining several legal cannabis dispensaries already operating in Fresno.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Banyan Tree, a new cannabis dispensary in Northeast Fresno, held its grand opening on Saturday. It's one of several legal cannabis dispensaries operating in the city.

After a very slow start, Fresno City leaders expect cannabis revenue to continue to bloom, with 13 businesses open out of the 19 that are allowed.

"Banyan Tree is 100% local, locally owned," said Ace Castillo, the CEO of Banyan Tree. "Local investments and dollars that came to help open this place."

The City expects to bring in about $7 million in cannabis revenue for the 2025 fiscal year, especially with 13 storefronts now operating. But last year, the city fell short.

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"It was due largely in part to only having two dispensaries open," said Fresno City Council President Annalisa Perea. "What we've seen recently is a vast influx of new storefronts opening."

Perea said a maximum of 21 dispensaries will be allowed to do business in the city, which would be about three stores per district.

Last Thursday, Mayor Jerry Dyer presented his proposed budget plan for the 2025 fiscal year, which is just shy of $2 billion. He also explained the driving factor behind a $47 million deficit.

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"We had expenses that outpaced revenues," said Mayor Dyer on Thursday. "We continue to see that as many cities do."

While city leaders have seen an increase in property tax citywide, there's also been a decrease in sales tax and business licensing fees, just to name a few.

"Our revenue that we are hoping to gain from the cannabis industry here locally, whether you're a supporter or not, is really going to be instrumental in helping us be economically stronger," said Perea.

Fresno City leaders said it's a pretty lengthy process to get a cannabis storefront, like Banyan Tree, open. That's because they vet each applicant. For Castillo, getting his store open is one of his biggest accomplishments

"This is a dream come true to actually open up and do this for the community," said Castillo.

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Wayne Eckheart, one of the vendors at Banyan Tree, is happy to see the local cannabis industry grow.

"Having more options to work with different partners within the community gives us the leg up too," said Eckheart.

He believes that shops like Banyan Tree will help bring in money to the area.

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