Valley Pure in Woodlake is the only state-regulated marijuana dispensary in the Central Valley. Manager Weston Hardin says the in-store sales business and doorstep deliveries are growing daily.
“We’re generating a lot of revenue. We’re generating a lot of tax revenue for the city, which is what we wanted to see.”
Customers are coming from larger Valley cities like Fresno, Visalia, and Bakersfield, but the storefront location is also drawing in tourists who take a detour off the road to Sequoia National Park to make a pitstop at the dispensary.
We spoke to a woman from Alabama who didn’t want to be identified, “Most (locations) we checked on, were medicinal only, the marijuana. So people with recreational could not get anything, so yes we had a hard time finding it, so we were fortunate that we did.”
Within the next months, Fresno city leaders will be deciding whether businesses should be given permits to sell pot.
An exclusive Action News poll conducted by Survey USA poll found that 51% of adults polled in Fresno said marijuana should be sold in the city for recreational use.
When we asked if marijuana sales for medicinal purposes should be allowed, 61% said that it should.
But despite feelings on marijuana, it seems there is widespread support for taxing its consumption. If the sale of medicinal and recreational marijuana is allowed, 70% of respondents say they support imposing a 10% tax.
Back at Valley Pure, Hardin says that there has never been a problem at the business and security cameras and police monitoring helps make customers at ease.
Of the hundreds of customers who pass through a day, he says, “They are your uncle, they are your teacher, they are your lawyer, and they are your grandma.”
The owners of Valley Pure are also working to get a permit in Merced, and they are hoping to open even more dispensaries in cities that embrace the concept and their business model.
Opening the shops is not easy. Owners are required to follow state guidelines that can be tedious and expensive, but Hardin hopes as more cannabis permits are issued, it will slow the black market.
“From the industry perspective, and from the legislative perspective and the legal perspective, we’re in no hurry to fail.”
State regulators are still trying to tie up loopholes and prevent organized crime from skirting regulations.
Improvements are evolving, like the latest starting July 1 that forces all product ingredients to be listed on a label and every product must be traceable in the state’s database.