Cigar bar owner in Florida arrested on marijuana charges

An Orlando man is accused of operating a marijuana-growing operation and selling marijuana-infused products to a bar in Florida, authorities said Monday.

Derek Schmitz, 39, of Jacksonville, was arrested Tuesday in the 500 block of Northwest 13th Street, said Sgt. Michael J. Johnson of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

He faces one count of cultivation of marijuana and one count each of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana and distribution of marijuana, Johnson said.

The arrest came after a series of undercover sting operations by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force that resulted in Schmitza being placed on administrative leave, Johnson wrote in a news release.

The DEA said the operation also involved the sale of marijuana products to bar patrons.

Schmitz allegedly sold marijuana infused products at a cigar bar called Cigar Bar on the North Coast, according to the news release, which also cited court records.

A man who said he worked for Cigar was not immediately available for comment Monday.

A statement from the bar’s owner, Anthony Loyola, did not address the charges, but the company has a long history of being involved in the growth of marijuana.

A message left at the Cigar Club on Monday was not returned.