Turlock’s first-ever legal cannabis sale took place on Wednesday as the top-ranked dispensary in the City’s Cannabis Pilot Program opened its doors to the public — a highly-anticipated event well over a year in the making.
After originally prohibiting the sale of cannabis in Turlock, the City Council reversed its ban on marijuana operations in May 2019 when it adopted the Cannabis Pilot Program in a split vote. Since then, the process has gone from receiving over 30 proposals from candidates vying for a spot as one of Turlock’s four dispensaries in the program to seeing the Top 4 candidates ranked and Development Agreements approved.
Of the four selected companies, Firehouse is the only locally-owned dispensary and was ranked No. 1 by the City. Owned by The Premier Group, the cannabis conglomerate operates dispensaries in Ceres, Riverbank, Modesto, Merced, Stockton and now Turlock.
Firehouse was the only dispensary to be appealed by Turlock residents after approval from the Planning Commission. The dispensary had to be approved a second time by the City Council after their location, 1601 W. Main St., attracted concern from community members who believed it was too close to Osborn Immersion Two-Way Academy. Despite the outcry, Firehouse was ultimately permitted to operate on Main Street.
In January, Firehouse owner Devin Stetler said his other five dispensaries are expected to give back $4.1 million in public benefit fees this year, not including projected funds for Turlock. Firehouse will give 5.25 percent of its gross receipts to Turlock each month, with .25 percent going toward drug prevention and youth programs.
“We are always excited to welcome a new business to town. In this case, an entirely new industry opening their doors to a line of customers is very encouraging,” Turlock City Manager Toby Wells said. “We look forward to