FRESNO — Located in North Fresno at the west corner of Palm and Nees in the Park Place Mall, local shoppers can now find a new business venture proudly unique to residents of the City of Fresno.
The first county-approved recreational cannabis dispensary.
Known as The artists’ tree, the dispensary focuses on a curated experience for each guest, assigning a proverbial “tourist guide” to help consumers new and old understand the obvious and nuanced differences between different strains of cannabis, as well as their intended consumption methods. . Boasting a veritable cornucopia of fresh cannabis flowers, oils, CBD products and edibles in all shapes and sizes, there is sure to be something to suit every customer at The Artist Tree.
The Artist Tree was the brainchild of Lauren Fontein, Avi Kahan, Mitch Kahan and Aviv Halimi.
The founders of Artist Tree have their roots in operating medical dispensaries and their ideas were able to evolve as regulations did, culminating in the opening of their first location and the first recreational dispensary in West Hollywood in 2019.. The goal then, as now, was to educate consumers while providing a unique and enjoyable experience. Local community member, Fresno State Alumni, and former Miss Fresno Courtney Caron is also associated with new local Fresno operations, serving as both legal counsel and invested partner. She had this to say when asked about her involvement in the local branch of the business.
“In 2018, I met co-founder Lauren Fontein at a city council meeting before The Artist Tree was formed. I worked with them on the formation of The Artist Tree in West Hollywood and helped them to land their first licenses. Once these were won, I also helped to win the additional licenses. I own the Fresno project, but not the other projects. At this point, I continue to be legal counsel for The Artist Tree and to work with them on each of their projects. Hopefully in the future there will be more ownership opportunities. For the Fresno project, it was near and dear to my heart because I am from the region. I also called on all the local partners for this project.
The name “Artist Tree” is inspired by the two main axes of the founder.
One is art. Each Artist Tree location hosts various works by local artists, giving them a place to show off their art. The second and most obvious objective is the “tree”, the flagship product of the store; “tree” is a colloquial term used as a synonym for marijuana.
When asked, “What kind of customers and demographics do you expect to frequent your store?” co-founder and owner, Lauren Fontein had this to say:
“It’s more like our current LA stores than we would have thought. We have a lot of older consumers there. People often come specifically for medical reasons. Many Fresno customers are also looking for cannabis at these same medicinal purposes. Since we opened we have been blown away by the older population that regularly frequents here. I think an art gallery setting is an environment where people walk in and feel extremely comfortable even if they’re not in their 20s or 30s. We have a 1 to 1 ratio between customers and our retail guides to guide and talk to customers through the various products, which is very helpful for our customers. Employees are educated and in no rush to call customers, and can cater to all ages. »
The Artist’s Tree is a monthly destination for ArtHop
Consumption of on-site products is still prohibited in Fresno County, but for those looking to get the full experience, The Artist Tree’s West Hollywood location has a fully operational consumer lounge for those who wish to test and enjoy the products on place. And for those who want to interact with the dispensary further afield in our region, The Artist Tree is a monthly destination for ArtHopFresno’s citywide local art fair on the third Thursday of every month, including this Thursday, August 18. For ArtHop, The Artist Tree will feature live music, free food and drink, and live art from local Fresno artists.
Offering an aesthetically pleasing, education-focused and customer experience-driven business model, and with plans to open a second location in South Fresno once the permit has been approved by the city council, The Artist Tree is sure to becoming a popular first choice for many of the Valley’s cannabis consumers.