Pubdate: Wed, 15 Aug 2012
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2012 The Arizona Republic
Author: Dianna M. Nanez


Will Schreiber was sure the payoff for opening a medical-marijuana 
dispensary would be huge.

Schreiber was so certain of the investment that he sunk about 
$100,000 into submitting two business proposals to open a dispensary 
in northern Tempe. Schreiber funded the prospective business in a 
partnership in which two others became the applicants.

The state would allow only one dispensary to open in the city's 
northern region, but Schreiber figured he would increase his chances 
if both of his proposals were qualified to enter the state random lottery.

Tempe development officials said the city received 57 dispensary applications.

Schreiber felt lucky when Tempe gave both of his proposals zoning clearance.

Tempe ultimately gave zoning clearance to 10 prospective dispensaries 
in the city's state-designated northern region, while three were 
given clearance in the city's southern region.

On Aug. 7, the state hosted a lottery to select dispensaries eligible 
to take the next steps in opening in Arizona. Lottery balls with the 
numbers of prospective dispensary businesses were selected at random.

Schreiber said he held his breath while he watched the ball drawn for 
northern Tempe. He came up empty.

It is still unclear which two dispensary applicants were selected in 
Tempe. The Arizona Republic left messages for each applicant to which 
Tempe gave zoning clearance, but Schreiber was the only investor to 
return a call for comment.

About a week after the lottery, Schreiber said he was still digesting 
all the work that went into the failed business plan.

"$100,000 is a lot of money," the Scottsdale resident said.

Despite the disappointment, Schreiber said he would do it again.

Schreiber, a veteran Valley real-estate entrepreneur, said the 
overhead on a dispensary would be relatively low, offering the 
opportunity for a hefty return on investment.

"I think people are realizing they need to open with the bare 
minimum, because they don't know if the police are coming today or 
are they coming tomorrow (to shut you down)," he said.

Schreiber says he considers dispensaries to be as safe as any 
pharmacy that is at risk of being robbed for opiates or other drugs in stock.

Tempe Police Chief Tom Ryff said he respects that voters passed the 
law making medical marijuana legal but he believes that the 
businesses could have problems with crime. They might also conflict 
with federal laws and could be shut down.

Ryff said he worries that when you put "drugs and money in the same 
building" it's a recipe for disaster.

Although the dispensaries are required to implement a security plan 
prior to opening in Tempe, Ryff said that plan is only good if the 
business owner follows it.

Tempe's security plan for dispensaries calls for video cameras and 
securing of marijuana. But Ryff warned that he does not want to give 
the public a "false sense of security."

Ryff believes that medical-marijuana patients could be at risk of 
someone following them home to steal the drug they purchased.

Tempe police will inspect buildings to ensure that dispensaries have 
followed the security plan. The state ultimately will give the OK for 
the dispensary to open.

Prospective dispensary owners selected in Tempe may return to the 
planning department to submit construction documents for building 
permits for tenant improvements.

Tempe will confirm that dispensaries meet floor-plan and 
building-code requirements, including whether the site's security 
plan is sufficient.

State health director Will Humble said he expects it to be several 
weeks to months before any dispensary opens in the state.

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Securing Tempe medical-pot dispensaries

Tempe Police Department is using a nine-page security plan to monitor 
dispensaries. If a site violates the plan Tempe can revoke the 
security plan, which could force the business to close if it cannot 
come into compliance.

The plan includes:

Lighting requirements for the exterior of the building and for the 
parking lots.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system is required on the building 
entry/exit area, all points of sale, cultivation room and parking lot.

Exterior cameras must be illuminated for sufficient camera quality recording.

The CCTV must be digitally recorded and the recording medium must be 
saved for a minimum of thirty-one (31) days.

A fixed camera must be focused on all marijuana storage areas and 
access doors at all times. Camera resolution must be 704 x 480 or greater.

A drop safe is recommended behind the counter for excess change and 
cash on hand. Install and maintain a safe in the office.

All patrons must display a photo identification in accordance with 
Department of Homeland Security guidelines.

There shall be a physical separation/counter of at least 48 inches in 
height between the patron and employee. Separation shall be from wall 
to wall to prohibit patron access behind the counter. A panic alarm 
shall be installed behind the counter or worn on a fob by an employee.

All marijuana shall be secured at all times with the exception or 
real-time sales. Marijuana shall be stored after hours in a lockable 
storage container approved by Tempe Police Crime Prevention.

Hours of operation for a dispensary are limited to not earlier than 8 
a.m. and not later than 6 p.m. daily.

All customers entering the establishment shall remove their hats, 
sunglasses and other similar objects which obstruct physical 
identification. This shall not apply to clothing worn over the face 
for established religious reasons.

No persons under age 21 allowed in the dispensary.

A burglar alarm shall be installed that will activate upon motion via 
entrance through the doors, glass, rooftop access and cover any 
shared wall. The alarm shall be monitored by an alarm company.

Source: Tempe Police Department.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom