Tempe police bust 2 marijuana 'compassion clubs'

TEMPE, AZ - Police say they have arrested the operator of two "compassion clubs" in Tempe and seized more than 120 marijuana plants.

They say the arrest came after a series of search warrants were served at Top Shelf Hydro College, formerly known as the Az Go Green Co-op.

Undercover detectives purchased large quantities of marijuana at the business, which is in violation the state's new medical marijuana law.

"One of my patients said she was afraid to get out of her car," said Dr. Alejandro Mioni of Arizona Chiropractic Group. His business is in the same complex. "[There was a man] wearing a gun and a bullet-proof vest, and she was just afraid of him."

Compassion clubs opened in Phoenix-area strip malls and office parks when medical marijuana advocates became frustrated by the long delay between the state Medical Marijuana Act passing in 2010 and dispensaries opening.

Arizona has more than 35,000 residents with medical marijuana cards, but only six dispensaries where card-holders can legally obtain the drug.

Compassion clubs aren't regulated while the dispensaries are tightly regulated.

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