Maricopa County Sheriff’s Marijuana Delivery Services Bust Is Eye-Opener

Albert Shlamoon, James Brown, Raymus Bryant, Jacobs Walters, Brian Natkie, Daniel Garcia, Deon Payne, Jalynn Pelletier, James Watkins, Karly Cramer, Richard Hartman, Shiyuan Peng, Wendy Gonzales, Tianna Westley [Photos courtesy Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office]

A bust this week made by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, offered a glimpse into the black-market marijuana and narcotic cannabis delivery services that are operating outside of Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, “on Thursday, September 5,  conducted a large buy/bust operation on the local delivery services. Detectives established an undercover residence, and multiple marijuana delivery groups were contacted. After the contact, they delivered the agreed upon amount of marijuana and/or narcotic cannabis to the undercover detectives in exchange for cash only payment. After the vehicles left the residence, surveillance was established on the suspects until they were able to be contacted by uniformed deputies and placed under arrest.”

Illegal delivery services attempt to mask their illegal activity under the AMMA. Most the illegal delivery services targeted in this operation were contacted through an online site, advertising through Weedmaps. These services pay a fee to advertise on Weedmaps without any vetting to verify their legality to perform services in Maricopa County. The delivery services would not provide Dispensary License numbers or Authority to Operate and do not associate with a License Dispensary and the drivers do not hold a dispensary agent card.

The purpose of this buy/ bust operation was to address the growing problem of the illegal circumventing of Arizona law with regards to sale and delivery of illegal marijuana and narcotic cannabis products that are not protected under the AMMA in the medical marijuana community, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The AMMA does not authorize anyone but a licensed non-profit dispensary to sell or deliver for sale, Marijuana or Narcotic Cannabis to patients in the State of Arizona. The Weedmaps page also indicates that the deal will be a “donation” instead of a sale. Again, attempting to mask their illegal operation behind the AMMA. Many times, these delivery drivers, work for 6-10 hours per day, often times using marijuana and cannabis while working and driving under the influence.

All suspects were booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on charges of Sale of Narcotic Drugs and Sale of Marijuana.

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