Following months of applications and interviews away from the prying eyes of the public, the people of Fresno are about to get their first taste of battle over recreational marijuana dispensaries.

Out of the 21 dispensaries that have received approval from the city’s Office of Cannabis Oversight, which is under the purview of City Manager Thomas Esqueda, five of them are up for appeal on Wednesday. 

Here’s a breakdown of the upcoming appeals: 

The Artist Tree

Address: 1426 N. Van Ness Ave. 

Appealing Councilmember: Esmeralda Soria

The Artist Tree will be located on Van Ness Ave. between McKinley and Olive in the Tower District in District 1, and it is one of two – out of three total in the district – being appealed by Soria. 

Soria said she is appealing the permit to allow public participation in the awarding process. 

The city initially awarded a permit to The Artist Tree because the dispensary was the second highest scoring application in District 1. 

Since the appeal was announced, six members of the public sent in comments to the city sharing their concerns about the dispensary. The public comment centered around the fear that the dispensary would increase crime and blight

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