CANTON — The Botanist and Zen Leaf dispensaries are temporarily closed because of damage caused by break-ins Monday morning.
The suspect or suspects did not access areas with products controlled by the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, according to Canton police.
The Botanist at 3840 Greentree Ave. SW opened on Ohio’s first day of sales in January 2019. Zen Leaf opened in late October at 1851 Steinway Boulevard SE.
Canton police Lt. Dennis Garren said officers also responded to a break-in at Phantom Fireworks, which is across the interstate from The Botanist.
“Detectives are investigating to determine if these are connected,” he said.
Security alarms at The Botanist and Phantom Fireworks alerted police to those break-ins about 5 a.m. while Zen Leaf’s break-in was reported when an employee arrived about 8 a.m., Garren said.
The Botanist’s glass door and windows were broken, he said, but the object used was unknown.
“They were able to get as far as the lobby, but once they were in the lobby, due to the intensive security, they were not able to get any farther in the facility,” said Kate Nelson, chief operating officer for the Greenleaf company behind the dispensary.
Two sets of locked doors separate the lobby from the retail room. Nelson credited the “high-caliber” security for preventing any loss and said she hopes the incident serves as a deterrent to any would-be burglars.
“Obviously these facilities are very secure,” she said. “They are designed to be very safe for both patients and employees, and this is an example of that security in action.”
Nelson said staff are making repairs and hope to reopen Wednesday. The reopening date will be announced at shopbotanist.com and The Botanist’s page on Facebook.
At Zen Leaf, someone rammed the east side of the building with a U-Haul truck and then used a sledge hammer to smash the front glass doors and damage two metal doors, Garren said.
Similarly, a person who arrived in a U-Haul truck used a sledge hammer to enter Phantom Fireworks, he said. The inventory from that break-in was pending.
No past break-ins were on record for either dispensary.
David Spreckman, director of retail marketing for the Zen Leaf dispensary, declined to comment Monday.
Garren said, based on surveillance video provided to the police, a suspect in the Zen Leaf break-in is 6-feet tall, weighs 200 pounds or more, and was wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and black shoes or boots. He asked anyone with information to contact detectives at 330-489-3144 or via Tip411 at cantonohio.gov/324/Police.