PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies have been cracking down on fake medical marijuana dispensaries in the Valley.
The illegal dispensaries are known as compassion clubs, and sell marijuana without the required licensing through the Arizona State Department of Health Services.
Since March 3, MCSO deputies have made 39 arrests and seized lots of property in connection with the alleged illegal businesses.
“In the past week our sheriff’s office narcotic detectives made about 39 arrests, half a ton of marijuana was seized,” said Sheriff Joe Arpiao. “Over $230,000 in cash, a house…it actually had an ATM concealing some marijuana in it.”
Arpiao said the compassion clubs have become popular in the state after the legalization of medical marijuana in Arizona in 2010. He added that usually compassion clubs only sell to club members, but undercover deputies were able to walk into the stores and purchase the marijuana.
In addition to the arrests and seizures of cash, weapons and drugs, Arpaio said they have seized one home and are searching two others, believed to be large grow houses that produce the marijuana.
“Right now we’re searching three (houses), two in Laveen and we do know that there’s large amounts of marijuana and other types of equipment in those residences,” Arpaio said.
All the suspects arrested have been booked into jail and are facing various drug and money laundering charges.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night