Pinedale Elementary School worried about potential cannabis dispensary

A group of protesters stand by at the June 22nd protest of an Embarc dispensary within 1000 feet of Pinedale Elementary, a CUSD school located in Fresno. Pinedale plans for another protest on July 10th. (Photo via Brandon Daniels of Pinedale Elementary)

June 29, 2023 – Pinedale Elementary School, a CUSD elementary school located in Fresno off of Blackstone Avenue, is questioning the placement of a cannabis dispensary within hundreds of feet of their school grounds. 

With estimates of up to 1000 feet from the elementary school, the supposedly planned dispensary, Embarc, is something that RSP Teacher Brandon Daniels does not want around his students.

There is one Embarc franchise already in Fresno, located on Blackstone Avenue, south of this second intended spot. 

In a statement issued by Pinedale Elementary, they stated, “We are vehemently opposed to the dispensary for the following reasons: 

Safety, public health, convenience, and welfare of our community members who reside, work, visit, or recreate in the surrounding neighborhood. It will create a nuisance.” 

Further they warned, “To grant the permit of a dispensary at this location is a slap in the face to educators, parents and students themselves.”

“Students would have to walk by that dispensary [on their way to school],” says Daniels. 

The RSP teacher is also concerned with the fact that armed guards would have to standby at the dispensary during business hours. 

“I just don’t think it’s a good idea to have the guards out there with their weapons.”

This is the third attempt to place a dispensary in this certain location. In a letter sent to Pinedale staff in 2021, CUSD chimed in on the subject of a different dispensary’s attempt at business saying, “The District believes this retail location will be an attractive nuisance to our students resulting in supervision problems for school staff at a time when resources are short and should be directed more intentionally on-site, a potential nuisance for the business, and potential problems related to the health and welfare of students.”

There was a planned protest of the dispensary at the school on June 22nd with over 100 attendees to protest the dispensary and more specifically the armed security. 

A future “Community Opposition Meeting” will be held at Pinedale Community Fellowship on July 10th at 6 PM. 

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.