Pinedale community members release update on potential Cannabis Dispensary

The public gathered for an informational meeting given on Monday July 10th. Pinedale community is vehemently opposing a potential cannabis dispensary within 1000 feet of their school. (Photo provided courtesy of Brandon Daniels, Teacher/Pinedale Elementary)

July 14, 2023 – The following article has been edited from its original state. The reasoning behind these edits have come from the fact that the Pinedale Community has taken charge of the opposition of a cannabis dispensary coming within 1000 feet of Pinedale Elementary.

Pinedale Elementary School officially has nothing to do with protests of the cannabis dispensary, according to CUSD.

The public gathered for an informational meeting given by Pinedale residents on Monday July 10th. Some Pinedale residents are vehemently opposing a potential cannabis dispensary within 1000 feet of Pinedale Elementary School.

Residents are voicing concerns about the potential of a cannabis dispensary opening in their community and near an elementary school in the upcoming future.

This cannabis dispensary would come within about 1000 feet of the school which is not illegal, the Fresno County law is 800 feet.

However, Clovis Unified School District has expressed concerns to the City of Fresno about its proximity to Pinedale Elementary and potential distractions, public welfare, and safety.

At an informational meeting held on Monday, July 10th, some Pinedale residents came up with certain emergency possibilities that could arise at the dispensary that would in turn affect their community.

These potential risks included active shooters, robbery, gunshot wounds, and other medical emergency conditions.

Risk of burglary has seen an “uptick” in the recent past in San Francisco according to The San Francisco Standard.

One of these burglaries included a robbery of one cannabis dispensary while an emergency call was made from a different dispensary only a mile away. The already established Embarc Dispensary on 4592 Blackstone is 2 miles away from Pinedale Elementary.

Through the possibilities of emergency including robbery, attendees at the meeting came up with a failing “Safety Score” giving the potential cannabis dispensary a score of 130/300 points, or a 43%.

Pinedale Elementary then relayed the City Code on cannabis retail for the City of Fresno to the public gathered at their meeting.

According to that code, “Cannabis retail should not be detrimental to public health, safety, convenience, welfare of persons residing, working, visiting, or recreating in the surrounding neighborhood and will not result in the creation of a nuisance.”

According to Pinedale community representatives, the allowance of this dispensary would only create a nuisance for. both their school and the surrounding public and Pinedale Community.

The Pinedale Community was then notified that the dispensary, with armed guards, would be within 174 feet of the nearest house.

The next step for the concerned residents is a public peaceful protest that plans to take place on Saturday July 15th on Blackstone and Nees from 10-11 AM.

They ask that those who attend bring some sort of opposition sign and their hope is to prompt City of Fresno Director of Development, Jennifer Clark, not to approve for the development of the dispensary at that location.

If approved, residents were notified that they would then need to organize and voice their concerns at City Hall before the Fresno City Council in order to try to get them to not approve the designation.

No City of Fresno or Clovis Unified representatives attended the meeting, but CUSD School Board Member Deena Combs-Flores was present according to those in attendance.

EDITS COMPLETED BY: Kelly Avants, CUSD Chief Communication Officer

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.