City Manager’s Office

Office of Cannabis Oversight

Office of Cannabis Oversight

Under the direction of the City Manager, the Office of Cannabis Oversight is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the City’s cannabis laws and regulations.

On November 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana (“AUMA”) Act. This law legalizes nonmedical, recreational marijuana, subject to the regulation of local government jurisdictions in the State of California.

On December 13, 2018, Fresno City Council adopted the Cannabis Retail Business and Commercial Cannabis Business Ordinance, which sets out the permitting framework and regulatory requirements for Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis businesses to operate within the City for commercial activities such as cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution. This ordinance was amended on January 30th, 2020, on June 25th, 2020, and may be further refined by the City Council.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

(12/4/2020) As of December 4, 2020, at 4:01 pm applications are closed for Commercial Cannabis Business Permits. All communications about the status of submitted applications will occur through the application system.

(5/20/2021) Please see the information below under the “Cannabis Business Information” section for a revised timeline estimate and a list of social equity applications approved for an interview.

(6/16/2021) Please see the following notices of changes to the application procedures:

(6/25/2021) Applicant interview lists are now posted under the “Cannabis Business Information” tab.

(7/9/2021) Please see the FAQ document for questions about applicant interviews and a revised notice describing when records will be available. Phase II score sheets for applicants that did not advance to the interview phase may be requested by submitting a Public Records Act request. The list of scores for Phase II is now available:

*Please note that advancement to the interview phase is pass/fail and is not based on scores for Social Equity applicants pursuant to the Application Procedures. To see a list of Social Equity applications that were approved for an interview, please see below under the “Cannabis Business Information” tab.

Key Staff

Jennifer Ruiz

Jennifer Ruiz
Project Manager

Jennifer Ruiz joined the City of Fresno in April 2020 as a Project Manager.  In her role, Ms. Ruiz is leading the development of the cannabis framework for the City, including serving as a primary point of contact for business owners interested in seeking a commercial cannabis business license in the City of Fresno.

She has extensive experience in project management, leadership, and program development. Before joining the City, Ms. Ruiz spent over 6 years as the Chief Executive of a non-profit health organization in Fresno, as well as two years in an elected leadership position in her Native American tribal community. In both prior roles, Ms. Ruiz was instrumental in the growth of organizational grant revenue and the development of key community service programs. She has significant experience in writing and managing federal, state, and local grant programs, managing personnel and developing budgets, as well as preparing for audits and compliance reviews. Ms. Ruiz is a Fresno State alumni, earning a Master of Business Administration degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology.

Ms. Ruiz was born and raised in Clovis, California. She is married with two young daughters. She enjoys reading, playing co-ed recreational soccer with her husband, and watching her daughters, niece, and nephews play sports.

Cannabis Social Equity Program

Section 9-3316(b) of the Fresno Municipal Code (FMC) establishes a cannabis social equity program in the City of Fresno. The purpose of the social equity program is to address the historical impact of federal and state drug enforcement policies on low-income communities.

A minimum of one (and a maximum of two) out of every seven commercial cannabis business permits for cannabis retail businesses will be awarded to an equity applicant. A minimum of one (and a maximum of two) out of every eight commercial cannabis business permits for other commercial cannabis business types will be awarded to an equity applicant.

Qualified social equity applicants will receive the following technical assistance during the application process:

  1. Business Plan Development
  2. Satisfying the Social Policy Requirement (FMC Section Sec. 9-3316(b))
    1. Hosting/Funding Expungement Clinics or related outreach
    2. Crafting an environmentally sustainable business model
  3. Satisfying the Neighborhood Compatibility Requirement (includes Odor Control Plan, Waste Disposal, Nuisance Abatement)
  4. A detailed plan identifying specific business and social goals of your organization, as well as strategies for achieving them.
  5. Assistance securing business locations prior to or during the application process.
  6. Assistance securing capital investments (excluding loans and grants from the City)
  7. Assistance in recruiting, training, and retention of a qualified/diverse workforce.

Additional benefits may be established in the future, including access to business loans and grants, and assistance in paying State licensing fees in accordance with FMC 9-3316(b)(vii).

The City has partnered with Make Green Go, LLC to provide technical assistance services for cannabis social equity applicants.

Are you a local business that wants to provide services for cannabis equity businesses? Equity Businesses may need referrals to various business services including, but not limited to, business insurance providers, real estate brokers, certified public accounts, attorneys, security professionals, etc. If you would like to offer your business services to cannabis equity businesses please register with our technical assistance provider.

Cannabis Business Information

The City of Fresno is no longer accepting applications for Commercial Cannabis Business (CCB) Permits. Applicants that previously submitted applications may access their application through the application portal here: https://fresnoca.viewpointcloud.com/

Summary of the current application totals.

Please see the revised timeline of the application process. This is the current best estimate of the application process as of the listed date and is subject to change.

*Please see the interactive cannabis zoning maps before for a visual representation of the current proposed locations.

Pursuant to the Fresno Municipal Code Section 9-3316(f), all applications submitted are considered public documents for Public Record Act (PRA) request purposes. PRA Request form.

Pursuant to Fresno Municipal Code Section 9-3316(f), the cannabis business permit application forms may be viewed by visiting this link: Cannabis Applications

Please note: Only the permit application forms are currently available online. The supporting documentation for each application will be available at a later date. The City is currently reviewing the supporting documentation for any applicable exemptions pursuant to Fresno Municipal Code Section 9-3316(f) and the Public Records Act (Gov. Code, § 6250 et seq.).

View the Application Requirements for the application process that closed December 4, 2020:

CCB Permit Application Procedures PDF
Social Equity CCB Permit Application Procedures PDF

Required Forms:

Frequently Asked Questions Document (PDF)

View the virtual application orientation meetings:

Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Application Orientation Video
PowerPoint from CCB Permit Application Orientation
Social Equity Commercial Cannabis Business Permit Application Orientation Video
PowerPoint from Social Equity Application Orientation

FEES

  • CCB Permit Application Fee:  $7,920.00 (waived for Social Equity applicants)
  • CCB Permit Fee: TBD
  • Zoning Inquiry Letter: $522.00
  • *Livescan Background Check: $69.00 per person
  • *Conditional Use Permit: $13,391.00
  • *Business Tax Certificate Application: $14.00

*Not required with the CCB Permit initial application. Do not proceed with these process applications until instructed to do so in Phase IV.

Retail and Commercial Cannabis Business Locations:

The City of Fresno has developed a tool to assist business owners in finding potential business locations that meet the requirements for cannabis zoning. Please select the appropriate link below depending on whether you are interested in looking at potential retail sites or other types of commercial cannabis sites. **MAPS UPDATED TO SHOW CURRENT PROPOSED LOCATIONS**

Cannabis Retail Map
Commercial Cannabis Map

In addition to the interactive maps, buffer analysis maps are available in PDF format here:

Community Benefit

The Cannabis Business License Tax ordinance establishes the tax rates for legal cannabis businesses operating in the City of Fresno. Of the revenues generated from the Cannabis Business License Tax, 90% is dedicated to fund unrestricted general revenue purposes, including combating gangs, drug abuse, human trafficking, homelessness, and to fund police, fire, roads, and parks. Ten percent (10%) is set aside for the Community Benefit Fund and shall be used to meet the goals of the fund, which will be established by Council resolution.

Section 7-1404 establishes the Community Benefit Commission consisting of nine (9) members to be appointed by the Mayor and from each Council district. The purpose of the Commission shall be to recommend allocation of the revenues received into the Community Benefit Fund pursuant to the goals set by Council. The Community Benefit Commission has not yet been established. More information about the Commission will be accessible on this page as it becomes available.

Health & Safety

While many Californians choose to consume legal cannabis in various forms for personal use, the City of Fresno wants to ensure that its citizens have resources and information to make informed decisions about their cannabis use. Please visit the following sites for more information about the health risks of cannabis:

Health Effects

Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know

Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch

Let’s Talk Cannabis Videos

Contact Us

Office Of Cannabis Oversight COntact

Phone: (559) 621-5555
Email: Cannabis.regs@fresno.gov

Address:
City of Fresno – Office of the City Manager
Office of Cannabis Oversight
2600 Fresno Street
Fresno, California 93721