The CEO of the only licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Hot Springs’ city limits filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging unfair trade practices he said have cost his business $5 million.
Dragan Vicentic said Thursday that three cultivators licensed by the Medical Marijuana Commission have refused to sell to Green Springs Medical after he told the commission in June that growers couldn’t keep up with demand. He urged commissioners to issue the remaining cultivation licenses allowed by the state constitutional amendment that legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, provoking reprisals from the growers, he said.
“We only had three cultivators producing, and there were over 65,000 patients at the time,” Vicentic said in an email. “They could not keep up with demand. There was an immediate need for the other three cultivators to be licensed to keep the medical marijuana program moving harmoniously.
“After the three other cultivators were approved, I was blackballed by Bold Team, Osage Creek and later Delta Medical from being able to receive any product. After months and months of pleading with them to furnish product for demanding patients, I was left with no other alternative other than to file suit to make them do the right thing and leave their feelings behind.”
He’s suing for damages and has asked the Garland County Circuit Court to enjoin the growers from boycotting Green Springs. The complaint also asked the court to direct the commission to promulgate rules prohibiting growers from refusing to sell to dispensaries, a practice the filing said violates federal antitrust laws.
“That the defendants have argued that their refusal to sell to the plaintiff is a business issue between the companies,” the complaint said. “In reality, the growing and dispensing of medical marijuana is not attune to an open free market in light of the fact