Fresno blocks opening of weed shop after awarding $222k in grant funds. Here’s why.

The cannabis dispensary won a license and six-figure grants and loans due to its ownership’s criminal history with marijuana. They won’t even open up shop.

A cannabis dispensary that previously received hundreds of thousands in grant funding has been rejected for a social equity permit to operate in the City of Fresno. 

The City Manager’s Office officially rejected the permit application Tuesday for Truffle Tree 420, according to a memorandum obtained by The Sun.


The backstory: Truffle Tree 420 had received grants and a loan totaling $222,006.85 as part of the city’s social equity cannabis program – funded with state tax dollars – in April. 

  • The company would have been located at 245 M St. near downtown Fresno. 
  • The company’s permit for the city of Fresno was earned via its social equity program, created for individuals who were incarcerated or otherwise impacted via the illegal cannabis market.
  • According to its application, Truffle Tree 420 is led by chief executive Eddie Rodriguez of Fresno.

The big picture: Truffle Tree 420 had its social equity permit denied after the city reviewed the applicant’s criminal background interview with the Fresno Police Department. 

  • The applicant admitted to making multiple false statements to the police officer conducting the interview, according to the report. 
  • Fresno’s municipal code prohibits anyone from holding a cannabis business permit after knowingly making any false statements in the application or to a city employee. 

Bills, bills, bills: The city sent an invoice to Truffle Tree 420 in an attempt to recoup any unspent grant funding that was distributed.

  • If any of those funds are repaid, the city can grant them to other eligible applicants even though the Cannabis Equity Act grant has ended.
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