The Fresno City Council will vote Thursday on a proposal that would set the city on a path to legalizing a variety of marijuana-related businesses. This comes just months after the council voted to ban commercial marijuana dispensaries and other businesses. If approved, the new policy would mark a significant reversal of course on an issue that has divided city leaders for most of the last year.
The current proposal would kick off a process of amending the city's zoning laws to allow cannabis cultivation, manufacture, extraction, testing, distribution, delivery, and medical dispensaries. However, it would not authorize recreational marijuana storefront dispensaries.
Thursday's resolution is backed by councilmembers Clint Olivier, Oliver Baines, and Paul Caprioglio, meaning only one additional vote is needed for the measure to pass. In September Caprioglio was on the opposite side of the issue, voting to ban a range of marijuana-related businesses including commercial dispensaries. But even if this new measure passes Thursday, would it survive a potential veto from Mayor Lee Brand? And how would the legalization process work? We spoke with Fresno City Council President Olivier on Valley Edition about those issues and also his thoughts on a proposal from Baines to give future city councilmembers a raise.