The Fresno Bee reports….The former Bank of America branch in Fresno’s Tower District has a new tenant.

If all goes as planned, the building, which has been vacant since 2017, could become one of the city’s first cannabis dispensaries.

“My goal is to take a blighted building, two blocks from where I grew up, and renovate it, make it something cool for the community,” say Kacey Auston, whose business has applied for three of the city’s 14 retail cannabis licenses.

Along with the Tower District location, Auston has a proposed location in Pinedale (where Toledo’s restaurant once was) and another at Shaw and Blackstone avenues.

The Tower District and Pinedale locations will operate under the brand Lemonnade.

The Blackstone and Shaw location will be branded as Cookies.

All will be part of a chain of dispensaries started by Bay Area rapper-turned-weed-entrepreneur Berner and a scientist who now works for the AIDS Foundation in San Francisco. Currently. The nearest Cookies location to Fresno is in Modesto.

“Gone are the days of the ‘60s and ‘70s head shops,” Auston says.

Lemonnade will offer a full slate of cannabis products in 8,000 square feet of retail space that Auton likens to an Apple store: bright and open, with clean lines. There will be ID checks for entry beyond the foyer, where clothing and other branded merchandise will be available, and 24-hour security around the building.

That in itself will go along way in transforming the block, Auston says.

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