Residents uneasy about Hallandale Beach medical marijuana facility located close to schools
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Medical marijuana is a budding industry now that it's been legalized in Florida.
Some residents are still caught off guard, though.
Miguel Alor was sitting at a red light in southern Broward County and couldn't help notice the green sign with the marijuana plant.
"Way too close [to schools in the area]," Alor said. "Too close for comfort."
Miracle Leaf touts itself as a "premier medical cannabis health center."
The store, located on busy Hallandale Beach Boulevard and Southwest 6th Avenue, opened earlier this summer. It's a short walk away from Gulfstream Early Learning Center.
There is also a day care just up the sidewalk.
Students from Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach K-8 and Hallandale High School pass by the store on their way to school and on their way home afterward.
David Medina, the corporate regional manager for Miracle Leaf, met with Local 10's Layron Livingston in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.
"This isn't a place for hippies and potheads," he said. "This is a medical facility."
Medina explained that strict rules are in place and must be followed by anyone inside the facility.
Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Miracle Leaf can only legally sell CBD and hemp products.
Medina said there are more than 50 Miracle Leaf Health Centers open in Florida where registered medical marijuana patients see their certified marijuana doctors.
"It's kind of like if you were to go to your doctor's office and get a prescription," he said, pointing out that there is no actual marijuana in the building.
Patients with a valid prescription must go to a marijuana dispensary, and currently there is only one in the Hallandale area.
Hallandale city officials determined that marijuana dispensaries and clinics should be within 1,000 feet of each other.
The ordinance also states that "medical marijuana establishments" cannot be within 500 feet of a school, unless the city commission grants a variance.
"If there are any parents who do have those concerns, I encourage you guys to stop by any one of our locations and ask a couple of questions," Medina said.
Currently Miracle Leaf has 10 centers in Miami-Dade County, eight in Broward County and one in Monroe County. There are plans to open more.
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