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Marijuana Farm Found in Mall

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Mall owners often talk about trying to find sources of ancillary income. I don't think this is what most of them have in mind.

Agents found more than 200 marijuana plants inside a building at the Mall of the Americas in west Miami-Dade late Friday. Now they want to know who was cultivating them, and who set up the hydroponics lab that could have lit the mall on fire with flimsy wiring.

The Drug Enforcement Administration discovered the plants growing on the second floor of the mall in what agents said was a 400-square-foot storage area. An official with the D.E.A. told CBS4'S Shomari Stone that she's never seen anything like this before.

The 'grow house" had plants growing from three-to-six-feet tall in an air conditioned environment along with camera surveillance in a storage area on the second floor of the mall. The wiring was flimsy, and could have sparked a fire in the popular mall.

Some estimates put the value of marijuana as much as $3,500 per pound on Miami streets. Overall, officials say millions of dollars of pot was found, since each plant could be harvested four times a year.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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