Detroit Corktown dispensary robbed in smash-and-grab

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
The BotaniQ Dispensary.

Detroit — Masked men in a pickup smashed through the wall of a Corktown dispensary and stole vaporizers and marijuana-infused foods Monday morning on Detroit's west side, police said.

The smash-and-grab was reported about 4:25 a.m. at the BotaniQ Dispensary on the 2500 block of Rosa Parks, which is just north of Interstate 75.

Police say that up to eight masked men smashed a gray Dodge Ram into the back wall of the dispensary and escaped with an untold amount of goods.

Richard Sarfoh, 51, co-owner of the dispensary, trekked from Farmington to see the damage Monday morning at his shop. 

A crew from Belfor Property Restoration was working on site to close the hole.

He estimates the thieves were only inside for about 2½ minutes, during which time they stole “some edibles, some vaporizers,” but failed to crack the safe containing money and “flower,” or pot.

“They couldn’t get into the vault — they tried, they couldn’t get into it,” Sarfoh said.

BotaniQ, a dispensary around 1,700 square feet, protects its parking lot with a wooden fence, and announces its presence with a billboard that towers above I-75.

Some of the stolen items from the dispensary, he said, were found strewn along Harrison, the street parallel to Rosa Parks to the east.

A crew from Belfor Propert Restoration was working on-site to repair the damage and secure the intrusion. Sarfoh said the dispensary will start the new year closed for a few weeks, as restoration and insurance matters are sorted.

BotaniQ opened on Election Day in November, he said.

Tire tracks.

“We are a target,” Sarfoh said. “We’re not the first dispensary to be hit and won’t be the last one, either. People think we’re full of money, they want to get product or money, and they steal. They do the same thing in pharmacies and gas stations and liquor stores.”

Sarfoh noted the fast police response, with officers arriving within five minutes of the alarm going off. 

“At least it didn’t happen in the daytime,” Sarfoh said. “No one came in here with guns blazing. That would’ve been horrible.”

Sarfoh's wife, BotaniQ's co-founder Anqunette Sarfoh is a former Fox 2 News TV anchor, whose last name was Jamison when she was on the air. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013, she started using medical marijuana in 2014. She left TV news in 2016.