Not long after Peoria police made public a bust of an unlicensed medical-marijuana facility, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was touting a similar bust by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Avondale.
In both cases, police allege the businesses were illegally selling the pot to medical-marijuana patients by using a fitness or wellness business as a front.
-"Illegal Medical Marijuana Dispensary" Raided in Peoria
In Peoria, police found a place leased as a "weight-loss and wellness facility" but allege that employees sold pot to undercover officers.
Such operations have been around since Arizona voters passed the Medical Marijuana Act, as certified dispensaries weren't allowed to open until more than two years after voters approved the act, and even now, regulations only allow a certain number of dispensaries. So, people have found other ways to provide marijuana to patients.
The business MCSO raided in Avondale is called Arizona Medical Massage. Judging from the exterior of the business in the strip mall, plus Its website and Facebook page, there's no indication that it's geared toward medical-pot patients (except for one guy commenting on Facebook about the "top shelf meds").
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
However, a Google search brings up the business listed in multiple online pot-dispensary directories.
That bust was similar to the Peoria one, involving undercover deputies making the purchases.
In a county where the county attorney will prosecute a legal medical-marijuana patient for possessing one piece of THC-infused candy, don't expect such raids to go away any time soon.