Orange County Shuts down Medical Marijuana facility from building between two high schools

Residents in College Park are glad that there will be one less marijuana facility in their neighborhood after the county denied a variance application Thursday.

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Orange County Zoning Board denied a C-2 application variance from Plants of Ruskin LLC because it would have been too close to two high schools, Edgewater High and Bishop Moore High Schools.

The medical marijuana facility company asked the county to allow a separation distance of 338 ft. between the facility and a high school instead of 500 ft.

“Rules are rules 500 feet is 500 feet. It’s as simple as that,” said Billie Wargo, College Park Resident.

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The facility would have transformed an old Amscot building on Edgewater Drive and Dowd Avenue in unincorporated Orange County College Park into a medical marijuana facility.

School board leaders showed support to the community during Thursday’s zoning meeting.

“I was disappointed that a business owner would want to be closer to our schools, but I was elated to see the support of the community and the outcome of the decision,” said Teresa Jacobs, Chair of the Orange County School Board.

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The county said approval of the medical marijuana facility would have set a precedent and given privileges that other businesses don’t get.

“There is only one issue before the board in this case, and that is a 162-foot reduction,” said John Drago, Vice Chair for Orange County Zoning Board.

Florida zoning laws state any medical marijuana dispensing facility cannot be within 500 feet of the real property that comprises a public or private elementary school, middle school, or secondary school unless granted a waiver.

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The facility would be more than enough for zoning rules for Edgewater High’s main campus but only +/-342 feet from the school’s agricultural facility and less than 400 feet from Bishop Moore Catholic High School.

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