Marijuana greenhouse planned for St. Pete warehouse

- Neighbors of a warehouse just east of U.S. 19 in St. Petersburg are upset about the potential for the warehouse to become a greenhouse.

The building's owner has presented his plan to the city to convert the facility into a medical marijuana and hops growing facility.

Gulf Coast Botanicals has been permitted to grow hops inside the building, located on 39th Avenue, near 31st Street.

The hops will be used at a local brewery, but when the company gets the green-light from the city, it will switch to marijuana.

Steve Shoemaker says he has no problem with marijuana being legal for the use of treating sick people, but he doesn’t want a grow site a few hundred feet from his mom’s house.

“I don't think it's good for the area or my property values,” Shoemaker told FOX 13.

The ultimate plan is to grow medical marijuana and sell it to local dispensaries. 

The owners say they jumping through hoops at the state and local levels.

Ben Kirby, the mayor’s spokesman says the city is supportive, but the company has to go through an extensive checklist with the Development Commission before the greenhouse can be approved.

Brenden Markopoulos, who is part of the project, says Gulf Coast Botanicals is spending a lot of money to address neighbors' concerns, including bright lights shining during the night. They’re also adding a carbon air filtration system so neighbors won't have to worry about any smells. 

Markopoulos says the company is also investing in extensive armed security.

Gulf Coast Botanicals goes before the city’s development review board July 11.

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