They were in the vanguard of an enterprise promising lucrative returns and a state-sponsored alternative to conventional medicine, but their partnership foundered on accusations, recriminations and mistrust a month into the endeavor.
The 173-page redacted transcript The Sentinel-Record obtained from last month’s hearing on Bruce Simpson’s injunction petition against Dragan Vicentic recounted the acrimony that’s played out as Green Springs Medical, Hot Springs’ only medical marijuana dispensary, became one of Arkansas’ first legal purveyors of a federally illicit drug.
Special Judge Ted Capeheart affirmed Simpson’s claim to a stake in the business, ruling earlier this week that he’s entitled to half of the profits and an equal say in the business while the lawsuit he filed in September proceeds. But the order forbids him from the Seneca Street location, preempting what Capeheart said has the potential to degenerate into a “fistfight” if Simpson were to enter the premises.
Simpson will have to monitor the business and assert influence from afar, using go-betweens and the protocol Capeheart’s order established for providing access to business and accounting records.
Simpson testified that Vicentic, Green Springs’ CEO, is running the business haphazardly, disregarding rules and regulations and jeopardizing the dispensary’s license.
“I watched the way he did business and how he conducted himself at the facility, which threw up red flags to me from the very beginning,” Simpson testified. “We had confrontations on the way he was doing business. He was doing business totally illegally.”
The Alcoholic Beverage Control division of the state Department of Finance and Administration cited the dispensary for numerous violations stemming from an inspection of the facility in July. Vicentic declined the state’s settlement offer and is scheduled to challenge the violations at a hearing before ABC’s director next week.
Simpson told the court his presence at the dispensary could