Former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher Matt Garza has received approval for a retail cannabis dispensary in his hometown of Fresno, California, the San Joaquin Valley Sun reports. Garza, the 2008 American League Championship Most Valuable Player for the Tampa Bay Rays, was one of four licensees approved in the round.
In an interview last week with GV Wire, Garza — who pitched at Fresno State — said he is “just going to enjoy this moment.”
“I’ve been patient. . . . We’ll see how it goes. We’ll open as soon as we can and we’re looking forward to helping this city and community.” — Garza to GV Wire
His application was for Authentic 559, for which Garza is a 51% owner. A stake of the company is also owned by the Shryne Group and its former CEO Brian Mitchell — who also serves as Authentic 559 co-owner — is currently facing felony charges in Alameda County for his involvement in an alleged scam perpetrated by a Bay Area painting and construction company, according to the Sun.
Mitchell resigned from his position in the Shryne Group after being charged in September with one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, two counts of workers’ compensation fraud, and six counts of felony insurance fraud, the report says.
If Mitchell is convicted, it could run afoul of Fresno’s city ordinance for cannabis company operators. The city is also being sued by Catalyst Cannabis who claim that a number of applicants who received city approval were led by “front men.”
Garza also holds a 19% share in Beyond Rooted which received a social-equity license in Fresno. Garza’s cousin, Issac Fonseca, is a Beyond Rooted partner.
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