PHOENIX — Three people have been arrested for their involvement in an illegal recreational marijuana dispensary in Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies say.
Investigators believe Korporate Smoke located on 16th Street and Southern Avenue was selling unsafe weed to unsuspecting customers who thought it was a legitimate business.
"Most of its customers probably thought it was a legalized dispensary," said Detective Matthew Shay with MCSO. "But it wasn't."
It was months ago when Shay said the Arizona Department of Health learned the dispensary did not have a proper license, which led to an undercover investigation.
Deputies reportedly found cannabis products that weren't properly tested and were coming in from the black market. Some marijuana edibles even resemble normal items you could buy at any grocery, which is illegal under state law.
"One of our children could get a hold of that chocolate thinking it was legitimate chocolate," Shay said.
Deputies also discovered another concerning issue. The workers were allegedly taking customers to the back of the store where they would sell them Psilocybin otherwise known as magic mushrooms in a guarded room.
"That right there was kind of the nail in the coffin," Shay said.
Authorities say they seized 95 pounds of marijuana flower, 881 grams of THC vape cartridges, 977 THC edibles, four handguns and close to $40,000 in cash.
Three people have been arrested in this case. Alisa Simpson, James McCoy and Corey Cashman. MCSO said all have been charged with:
- Fraud Schemes
- Control of an Illegal Enterprise
- Sales of Marijuana
- Sales of Dangerous and Narcotic Drugs
The dispensary has now been shut down and cleared out. A surprise for Summer Williams a frequent customer.
"I was just here a few days ago," Williams said, adding she had no idea what detectives claim was going on inside. "I just think it's crazy, I can't believe it."
The sheriff's office has reportedly never seen something like this since recreational cannabis became legal in Arizona. Ann Torrez, the executive director of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, agreed.
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"I've been in the Arizona industry for eight years and I've never heard of anything like this," Torrez said.
There are ways customers can see if the dispensary they are at is a legitimate one or not, according to Torrez. Workers are all mandated to where ID cards at all times in the store. Products will be properly labeled with warnings from the Arizona Department of Health and none will look similar to other non-cannabis brand name products.
Torrez also said that anyone can find authorized dispensaries on the AZDPH website.
Here's everything you need to know about the legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona.