A new local business has pumped $150,000 into their security system. Before you even walk in the front door, nearly a dozen cameras are keeping a close watch. They're not selling precious metals - they're selling medical marijuana.
Cement blocks surrounding the entrance, bulletproof, tinted glass, and two secure entries will greet you before you even step inside Harvest of Tempe.
"All of our products, in off-hours, are stored in the vault over here, which is full masonry vault, concrete poured in every cell," said Steve White, a board member with Harvest of Tempe.
"Initially, there is a bit of hysteria about this particular business," White said.
Although this is only the business's second week, White explained that it has been three years in the making.
"You have the statutes themselves, then you have the DHS regulations, then you have the Tempe city ordinances, and then you have the Tempe police department security plan," White said. He added that the laws are so strict, they can't even show us their product after hours, except for behind the glass window.
"Anything that has any cannabis in it at all, any money, is behind this door, locked in this vault," he said.
They've got an air filtration system so you don't smell the marijuana, two software systems verifying patients' information, and motion detectors. You name it, and the folks behind Harvest have thought of it - thanks, in part, to the urging of police, of course. There's even an ATM machine inside, since banks are not open to the idea of withdrawing cash for cannabis yet.
White said all of their medical marijuana is grown here in Arizona, and the baked goods are made in Tucson. He said they plan to expand, to include their own cultivation farm.
And while White is confident the medical marijuana debate will end in their favor, what if they are one Supreme Court vote away from closing their doors for good?
"If it does happen and the Arizona Supreme Court decides that this business is preempted by federal law, then we will be closing our business," he said.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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