HOT SPRINGS — A product shortage is behind Green Springs Medical’s shrinking market share, the principal of the local medical marijuana dispensary said.
Dragan Vicentic, CEO of the only licensed dispensary in Hot Springs, said his sales have slowed because cultivators won’t fill his orders.
“We have made one strain available at cost so that patients on a budget can purchase their medicine,” said Vicentic, whose dispensary has reported more than 3,000 pounds in sales, the most of any of the more than two dozen locations operating statewide, since it opened in May 2019. “So what began to happen by late last year is that patients that were purchasing their medicine on the black market began to come to Green Springs from all four corners of the state, because of our one strain at cost program, which ended up being cheaper than buying from the streets.
“That program worked nicely for a long time until around the first of June 2020, when we noticed that we were not able to get the volume of product that we were ordering.”
According to the minutes from the Medical Marijuana Commission’s June 16 meeting, Vicentic addressed the panel about the need for more cultivators. He said he has paid a price for his candor, claiming cultivators retaliated with “childish and unfair” trade practices.
“My next orders from the cultivators fell on deaf ears,” he said, explaining that his comments contributed to the commission issuing the remaining three cultivation licenses allowed by Amendment 98, which made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes in Arkansas. “I was then blackballed by all of the cultivators from purchasing any products.”
Vicentic said Natural State Medicinals in White Hall eventually resumed filling orders for Green Springs but claimed other growers have frozen him out.
“They will not