Questions raised over permit for Mount Dora medical marijuana plant producing ‘atrocious smell’

MOUNT DORA, Fla. — Mount Dora residents are growing more frustrated by a medical marijuana facility in their neighborhood.


Channel 9 previously reported that residents believe the smell from the place has gotten stronger. Now, investigative reporter Daralene Jones found out that the plant may have expanded without a permit.

However, the question remains whether or not the facility needed a permit.

Mayor Crissy Stile said she’s been overwhelmed with complaints about what’s happened at the plant on Britt Road, including the smell and traffic.

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Nearby homeowners are sharing their frustration, too.

“The atrocious smell (is) getting worse and worse every day,” Mount Dora resident Ashley Mazur said. “We don’t know what kind of chemicals they’re putting in these plants to make them grow, we don’t know what’s being let off in the air.”

The site is properly zoned to grow medical marijuana and for light manufacturing. When Channel 9 checked with Lake County to find out if the owners have pulled any permits for a structural expansion, the last permit for the property was pulled 22 years ago for electrical work.

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A county spokesperson said they were advised by the county attorney not to speak on pending matters under review.

“With as many complaints we’ve had, I just have to hope the county is doing everything they can to enforce everything that should be happening at that facility,” Stile said.

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Curaleaf is the second-largest medical marijuana producer in Florida, with one of 22 state licenses.

The family that used to run a landscaping nursery there sold it after first leasing it to Curaleaf two years ago.

“If they could do something to reduce the smell, I don’t think we would have any more complaints,” Stile said.

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Stile also said she doesn’t believe there’s anything dangerous or unsafe about the smell.

Curaleaf released the following statement:

“Curaleaf has owned and operated this facility, where we cultivate and produce medicinal cannabis products for the patients at our over 50 dispensaries across the state, since 2018. This property has a long history of agricultural use, and is protected by Florida’s right to farm. We have grown and expanded our facility but take careful precautions to ensure we minimize the impact on our neighbors, and ensure the site is wholly compliant with state cannabis regulations.”

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.