Crime

Weed in jars, cookies and candy leads to bust of medical marijuana fan

Inside South Florida’s only legal medical marijuana grow operation

Modern Health Concepts owns South Florida's only legal medical marijuana grow operation. The company recently allowed a Miami Herald photographer and reporter to tour the facility.
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Modern Health Concepts owns South Florida's only legal medical marijuana grow operation. The company recently allowed a Miami Herald photographer and reporter to tour the facility.

In November, Florida voted to legalize it — at least for medical use. Leandro Arriaga got busted for being a bit too brazen about it, police said.

Miami police said what started out Sunday night as a probe into several illegally parked vehicles turned into a bust at a weed festival, with cops discovering more than 50 pounds of the drug in jars, cookies and candy, even in chewable edibles that mirror gummy bears.

Arriaga, 32, who told police he was merely coordinating an event to inform the public about Amendment 2 — a November referendum that passed overwhelmingly in favor of the medical use of marijuana — was promptly arrested.

Now he’s facing charges that include not obtaining a permit for the event, attempted trafficking of marijuana and possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia. Arriaga could not be reached Monday.

Police said the night began normal enough, when at about 7 p.m. officers noticed several vehicles illegally parked at an industrial warehouse called the Barrio Workshop at 520 W. Flagler St.

Arriaga, police said, identified himself as the event organizer and told officers it was open to the public and a chance to inform them about the passing of Amendment 2.

That’s when, according to Arriaga’s arrest affidavit, police “smelled a strong odor of marijuana emitting from inside and observed patrons engaged in the sales of items.”

Police entered the building and said they saw weed on tables and in jars and paraphernalia that included glass pipes. The patrons saw the cops — and took off, police said.

In all, police said, they confiscated more than 51 pounds of loose marijuana, suspected tetrahydrocannabinol, the principle psychoactive ingredient in pot, and edible cookies and candies.

The evidence was photographed and placed in storage.

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