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Miami To See 1st Medical Marijuana Dispensary Open In City Limits




MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A big victory for medical marijuana users. A vote by the City of Miami Commission Thursday morning ends a long legal battle over whether dispensaries should be allowed.

“If you’re in the middle of Miami in rush hour traffic, it could take it could be 30-45 minutes,” Michael Montouri said.

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Montouri has a medical marijuana card and for years he has had to leave the city to get his prescription filled.

“For me and a lot of people it’s anxiety related so dealing with that is extremely important,” he explained.

Soon he may be able to get medical marijuana closer to where he lives in Miami instead of having to travel to the next city over.

“This was a precedent setting vote in the City of Miami where on a 3-2 vote we are allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the city of Miami for the first time,” District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell said.

Commissioner Russell favors giving patients an alternative to getting their medical marijuana, but other commissioners are against it.

“This is going to be all over, you’re going to see people smoking pot in the street,” District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes said.

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Some commissioners have even raised concerns about what they say are the drug’s harmful effects, but there is no ordinance put in place to regulate or ban dispensaries.

“The city has the option to do it, it has not done that,” said Jeff Neiman, an attorney for MRC44.

The company that has been in a long legal dispute with the city for a certificate of use, which was approved to operate at 90 NE 11th St.

“We have our patients now some of them who cannot travel and have to find transportation this would make it easier for them,” Dr. Herve Damas told CBS4.

Dr. Damas sees a lot of patients who have cancer at his office in Little Haiti.

“I like the idea that there will be more access hopefully there will be more in communities that need them,” he added.

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MRC44 will still have to finish paperwork but for now it has the greenlight from Miami.

Jacqueline Quynh

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A Letter from Aaron Tandy, Chair of the Miami Beach Chamber Board




I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day holiday and their long weekend. At the Chamber, we were able to support the Hyundai Air & Sea Show or “The Greatest Show Above the Earth,” which occurs annually during the holiday weekend.   The event showcases the men, women, technology and equipment from all five branches of the United States Military as well as our police, firefighters and their first responder agencies. This two-day spectacular event features the Cigarette offshore powerboat racing exhibition, extreme water sports, military display village and more, all on the beautiful shores of Miami Beach. If you weren’t able to attend this year, we high encourage you to attend next year. Additionally, though not in Miami Beach, this month welcomed Formula 1 in Miami Shores. It was nice to see so many of our local hotels on Miami Beach at capacity, our restaurants overflowing with people,  and successful major activations like concerts at the Fontainebleau Hotel and VIP events at luxury hotels like Faena. 

On Wednesday, May 11th the chamber proudly presented a reception hosted by Denison Yachting at the Miami Beach Marina.  On Tuesday, May 3rd the Board of Governors voted to allow the formation of a new marine council and the reception was the kick off.  Thanks to Mirielle Enlow, long time chamber member and Real Estate council chair, along with Bob Denison and Mike Kiely of Denison Yachting, marine industry professionals were invited to attend the reception to experience the value of chamber membership.   Chairman’s Circle and Board of Governor members attended to welcome the marine professionals. According to the state, Miami-Dade County has the most number of individual boats registered with a significant number choosing Miami Beach as their home. The marine industry contributes more than $1.0 billion dollars in gross economic impact to the County, with a considerable portion falling on Miami Beach. It is high time that the Chamber recognize this dynamic and impactful industry with its own separate council, and I welcome the creation of the council on my watch.

Additionally, as you read in our last letter and in the cover story accompanying this month’s letter, our Gala is coming up in a few days. We are still looking for auction items for the event. If you can donate a service, tickets to events, hotel stays or restaurant gift certificates, we would greatly appreciate it. Funds from the auction help support the Chamber and our Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation.

If you know anyone in the marine industry or would like to donate to our auction please contact Danny Diaz at


Aaron Tandy

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Resilient New Park at 600 Alton Road Now Open




The city’s newest amenity features a 25,000-gallon underground cistern to collect rainwater

 The City of Miami Beach welcomed a sprawling 3-acre resilient park at 600 Alton Rd on Monday, May 16. This important addition is set to transform the South Beach experience and connect neighboring communities in a way that’s never been done before.

“Instead of a massive wall of rental units, we now have this exquisite greenspace in a neighborhood where no one has a backyard,” said City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “This park will quickly become a welcomed amenity for nearby residents and a favorite gathering spot for our entire community.”

As part of the ribbon cutting celebration, attendees had the opportunity to explore all the park has to offer, including an outdoor gym, dog park, public art sculpture by Miami-based artist Mark Handforth and a whimsical playground designed by MONSTRUM. Additionally, guests marveled at the park’s lush landscaping, canopies of native and exotic trees and hundreds of vibrant orchids planted as part of The One Million Orchid Project in partnership with the National Orchid Garden and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Once visitors had thoroughly explored the amenity, they enjoyed light bites from Bodega, a sweet treat from Santos Churros as well as local, organic dog treats from Bowie Bites for their four-legged friends.

Aside from being a central gathering space, the yet-to-be named park at 600 Alton Rd. addresses a variety of sustainability issues on Miami Beach. With nearly 40 different plant and tree species throughout, the park plays an important environmental role to balance ecosystems, mitigate soil erosion, decrease urban heating effects, provide habitats for threatened animals and protect watersheds from destructive floods with a newly built bioswale.

The park was developed by TCH 500 Alton, LLC, a partnership between two of Miami Beach’s deepest-rooted real estate developers: David Martin and Russell Galbut. The development team, which is also behind the neighboring Five Park residential tower, constructed and donated the park to the City of Miami Beach’s Parks & Recreation Department as a gift to the community’s residents and visitors.

“The park will be a gateway for the City of Miami Beach, a destination for visitors, and an everyday amenity for residents, so we’ve taken the time to assemble a team of visionaries who have led some of the most transformational projects in the world,” said developer Russell Galbut of TCH 500 Alton, LLC. “We’ve created a vibrant community asset that brings people together while providing a design experience that rivals public spaces in the world’s greatest cities.”

“The park was designed with beautiful aesthetics in mind but also serves a broader environmental purpose,” said developer David Martin of TCH 500 Alton, LLC. “Its innovative sustainability and resiliency attributes will benefit not only the future residents of the adjacent Five Park tower, but also the entire surrounding neighborhood.”

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Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Honors Five Pillars of the Business Community at the 98th Annual Gala



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Event Celebrates the Chambers Centennial with Prohibition Themed Fete

On Saturday, June 4, business leaders will gather at the Miami Beach Convention Center to celebrate another amazing year at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce 98th Annual Gala presented by City National Bank. Over 500 of South Florida’s top professionals will gather at the largest networking event in Miami Beach to celebrate the achievements of business leaders. The event will also recognize the contributions of five distinguished pillars of the Miami Beach community for their continued commitment to the strength and growth of this thriving city as well as raise money for the Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation, which supports the needs of the City’s public school system. The funds raised help fund a Mental Health Counselor for Miami Beach Senior High School, provides teacher grants, supply nurses in local schools, and helps fund IB Programs in Miami Beach Senior High School.

The black-tie event will celebrate the Chamber’s anti-prohibition stance in the 1920’s and will be a “Roaring” good time. The Chamber would like to thank its extraordinary Gala Chairs Alfredo Gonzalez, Seth Feuer and Richard Segal for their help in organizing this event and promoting it to the community.

The award recipients this year are:

Michael Capponi (Global Empowerment Mission) for the Citizen of the Year Award

DJ IRIE (Irie Foundation) for the Jan Pfeiffer Distinguished Service Award

Wayne M. Pathman, Esq. (Pathman Schermer Tandy, LLP) for the City National Bank Beach High Outstanding Achievement Award 

Peggy Benua (The Dream South Beach) for the Excellence in Tourism Award

Barton S. Goldberg for the Leonard A. “Doc” Baker Lifetime Achievement Award

“We wanted to highlight the amazing accomplishments of people in our community that are making difference not only in Miami Beach but globally,” said Chair of the Board Aaron Tandy. “Our five honorees are exceptional people in their own right and we are excited to recognize them during our centennial year.”

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