Police are searching for multiple suspects who shot and critically wounded an employee at an unlicensed medical marijuana collective in Tempe, Arizona on Thursday night.
Around 7PM on Thursday, three to six men entered Top Shelf Meds in Tempe (Formerly called AzGoGreen Co-op). They confronted the employee before hitting him and then shooting him.
The victim’s name has not been released, but he is a man in his 30s. He remains in the hospital to receive treatment for his serious injuries.
According to the Tempe police department, Top Shelf Meds had previously been under investigation by the DEA. The collective is operating without a license and is being investigated by the Tempe Police Department.
Arizona’s medical marijuana law allows for collectives, but the process of issuing licenses has been incredibly slow. This has led many medical marijuana dispensaries to open without licenses from the state.
This shooting is the first in Tempe that can be directly tied to medical marijuana businesses. Police are now concerned that collectives will cause an increase in crime in their town.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Glover explained, “You have that potential of people being a target. There is definitely cause for concern for any community where [dispensaries] are placed. The hope is as these dispensaries actually open that they have good security measures in place to help them not be targets and not have their customers being victimized.”