Second marijuana growing facility planned for Ocala

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Posted May 19, 2021 | By Carlos Medina,

A medical marijuana greenhouse facility is planned for a 60,000-square-foot warehouse in Southwest Ocala.

A building and warehouse are shown at 720 SW 17th Place in Ocala on Tuesday. A marijuana grow operation plans to move into the location and Green Ops Group will invest $3 million in renovations. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Green Ops Group, which holds a Florida cannabis license, plans to spend $3 million to renovate the facility at 720 SW 17th Place, according to building permits filed with the City of Ocala.

The property is zoned for light industrial, which allows for the greenhouse, said David Boston, Planning & Zoning manager with the city.

In a separate move, Green Ops is also seeking to spend $150,000 to renovate a storefront location at 2301 N Pine Ave. While not specified in the building permit application, the storefront could presumably become a dispensary location for Green Ops.

A vacant building is shown adjacent to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 2301 N Pine Ave. in Ocala on Tuesday. Green Ops Group plans to renovate the storefront for a possible dispensary location. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Attempts to contact representatives from Green Ops, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, were not immediately successful.

“We are excited about Green Ops joining our growing cannabis/CBD industry cluster,” said Kevin Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership.

Green Ops would be the second medical marijuana growing facility planned for Ocala.

In November 2019, Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based medical marijuana company operating in 12 states, announced it would locate its Florida cultivation operations in Ocala. The Ocala facility would supply up to 35 of its dispensaries across the state.

While Green Thumb hoped to open its cultivation facility by the end of 2020, the pandemic derailed those plans. They recently started renovating part of the former Mark III manufacturing plant at 5401 NW 44th Ave., Sheilley said.

The company plans to invest $20 million in renovations and create about 100 jobs.

Marion County has at least five marijuana dispensaries.

In 2016, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the sale of marijuana for medicinal use. More than 71% of voters favored the measure.

The law requires the cultivation, processing and sale of the drug all take place within the state and come from the same license holder.

Green Ops’ license was approved by the state in December. The license was previously owned by a company that went out of business.

Those who wish to buy medicinal marijuana must have a prescription issued by a certified physician.

Other planned commercial construction

BMW of Ocala plans to build a nearly 13,000-square-foot expansion at its location at 5145 SW State Road 200.

The project is estimated to cost $2.8 million, according to permits filed with the city of Ocala.

The dealership is part of complex that also includes Volkswagen of Ocala and Porsche of Ocala. All three dealerships are owned by Gettel Automotive Group of Sarasota. They moved to the location in 2015 after they outgrew their former location at Southwest 42nd Street near Interstate 75.

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