CEO of new marijuana dispensary: Officials from school across the street are invited for a tour

The head of Palm Beach County’s newest marijuana dispensary says he has invited officials from the charter school across the street to tour his business.

Lindsay Jones, chief executive of Curaleaf Florida, said he has yet to hear back from anyone at the Academy for Positive Learning. The head of the school has said she’s “furious” about a pot shop opening nearby.

Jones opened the sleekly designed new store to reporters Wednesday, and he stressed that Florida law requires patients to win a doctor’s permission -- and the state doesn’t allow marijuana to be smoked.

“There’s this notion that there are a bunch of people sitting around here stoned,” Jones said. “That’s not what happens here. This is a medical facility. These are medications.”

Related: Bank of America’s misgivings delay Florida’s medical marijuana ID cards

State lawmakers in mid-2017 required that dispensaries locate at least 1,000 feet from the nearest school. But when Curaleaf signed its lease at 1125 N. Dixie Highway in Lake Worth, that rule didn’t exist.

“At the time we secured this facility, that distance requirement was not part of the law,” Jones said. “Everything we’ve done here was in strict compliance.”

As Jones spoke, an armed guard sat at his post at Curaleaf’s entrance. Dr. Marcie Merson, a Delray Beach physician who attended Wednesday’s tour, said patients as old as 98 use cannabis under her care.

And patient Brian Booth of Boca Raton said medical marijuana treats his seizures and weight loss far more effectively than prescription drugs.

Booth said his tab for cannabis is just $40 a month, although Florida’s budding marijuana companies are hoping patients spend more than that. Jones said the typical tab is $150 to $180 a month.

At that pace of spending, and if 500,000 patients sign up for Florida’s pot program as expected, cannabis would be a $1 billion industry in the state.

Green rush is on: Canadian cannabis company pays $40 million for Florida marijuana grower that’s still in “pre-revenue” phase

Palm Beach County commissioners move to end moratorium on pot shops

Former Miami Dolphin Ricky Williams says he still uses marijuana to deal with football’s wear and tear

Amendment 2 wins in landslide: What’s next for legal pot?

Inside Colorado’s pot shops: A picture of Florida’s future?

Medical marijuana backers in Florida not looking to California for model

Even when pot is legal, bosses can fire workers for testing positive

John Morgan and Sheldon Adelson: Meet the money men behind Florida’s pot fight

Hazy science: Is weed a wonder drug?

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