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Dispensary owner plans legal action

by David Showers | October 16, 2020 at 4:00 a.m.
Owner of Green Springs Medical Marijuana Dispensary Dragan Vicentic, right, and budtender Austin Briggs demonstrate how they package medical marijuana on March 26. - Photo by Grace Brown of The Sentinel-Record

The city's only licensed medical marijuana dispensary fell outside the top 10 in pounds sold for the fourth-straight reporting period, a ranking its principal said continues to be a function of the difficulty he's had sourcing product.

Green Springs Medical CEO Dragan Vicentic said Thursday his attorney is putting together a class-action lawsuit against cultivators he said are manipulating the market. The complaint will be filed in Garland County Circuit Court, he said.

Green Springs was the leader in average daily sales for more than a year after it opened in May 2019, but its market share began to slip this summer. Vicentic said last month that three of the four growers that supply the more than two dozen operating dispensaries retaliated against him after he told the Medical Marijuana Commission cultivators couldn't keep up with demand.

According to information provided by the state, the Arkansas Department of Health has issued 87,143 patient cards since voters approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Arkansas in the November 2016 general election.

Other dispensaries have complained on their social media accounts about product shortages, particularly lower-cost strains of the drug.

Green Springs' sales volume ranked 12th in the report the state revenue agency released Thursday for the 16-day reporting period that ended Wednesday. The Seneca Street location reported sales of 47.35 pounds.

Suite 443, Garland County's other licensed dispensary, finished sixth with 81.55 pounds in reported sales.

Four of the five growers the commission initially licensed are selling product. The remaining three licenses allowed by Amendment 98 have been awarded, but those growers won't have product ready for market until next year at the earliest.

Average daily sales for the 30 dispensaries in operation as of Wednesday fell for the second-straight reporting period, dropping from $600,000 for the 20-day reporting period that ended Sept. 9 to $578,947 for the 19-day period that ended Sept. 28 to $562,500 for the 16-day period that ended Wednesday.

Total sales since the state's first legal sale of the drug in May 2019 have surpassed 25,000 pounds and $163 million. The Tax Procedure Act prohibits the state from releasing revenue figures for individual dispensaries.

The ReLeaf Center in Bentonville finished first in sales for the third-straight reporting period, reporting sales of 129.53 pounds. The northwest Arkansas location has closed within 500 pounds of Green Springs' overall sales lead of 3,238.80 pounds.

Natural Relief in Sherwood logged 106.92 pounds in sales, ranking it second for the third-straight reporting period. Acanza in Fayetteville and Harvest in Conway ranked third and fourth, reporting 86.55 and 85.85 pounds, respectively, in sales.


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