Business · Fresno

Major Leaguer Garza calls Fresno’s weed process “unfair”

When it comes to operating a retail cannabis location in Fresno, Matt Garza is on the outside looking in.

The former MLB pitcher and 2008 American League Championship Series MVP is in a similar situation like many baseball teams down the stretch — needing another team to lose so a potential cannabis license can fall his way.

Garza applied for two locations, neither of which were selected when the city announced its preliminary 21 licensees.

Only a city councilmember, the mayor, or an “approved applicant” can file an appeal. Garza tried to appeal but was rejected on a technicality.

“I was given sent a letter saying that I had no grounds to file an appeal because I was not an approved applicant,” said Garza, a product of Washington Union High School and Fresno State.

Garza said the process has been flawed, with rules and interpretations changing, especially with other applicants not allowed to appeal.

“I don’t think it’s fair at all. I don’t think it’s right. I think if people were under these rules from the beginning, a lot of them would have not have not applied. It really handcuffs you in terms of investment for a possible rate of return. These leases weren’t cheap,” Garza said.

The city council has set a date to hear five appeals, a special meeting Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. As of now, the council chambers will be open to the public.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.