You probably got a whiff of the marijuana feud going on between several medical cannabis cultivators and the state’s biggest-selling retailer, Dragan Vicentic of Green Springs Medical Dispensary of Hot Springs. (See Arkansas Pot Firms Feud, Pass Around The Blame.)
Arkansas Business reported last week on Vicentic’s complaint that three of the state’s five operational cultivators are refusing to sell to him. Robert Lercher, director of customer relations for Bold Team of Cotton Plant, painted the Hot Springs dispensary owner as duplicitous and difficult. Matthew Trulove, co-owner of Osage Creek Cultivation in Berryville, said he cut Green Springs off after Vicentic revealed proprietary pricing information at a public hearing with state lawmakers.
But Don Parker, president of the fourth marijuana cultivator in the Arkansas market, Delta Medical Cannabis of Newport, has an altogether different reason for not dealing with Vicentic: He pays for his cannabis in cash, disdaining electronic payments.
“I think the comments of Robert Lercher, whom I’ve gotten to know as a competitor, are spot on,” Parker told Whispers. “He is very difficult to do business with. But we don’t do business with any dispensary that cannot transmit payment via electronic means. And Dragan refuses to do that.”
The liability is too great, said Parker, who is also a partner in the Jonesboro law firm Parker Hurst & Burnett PLC. “The product has to be delivered by the cultivators or by licensed transporters. To my knowledge, the four cultivators now operating handle their own deliveries.”
Vicentic has insisted on paying in cash, Parker said, and Delta considered it too risky to have drivers bringing cash back from a handful of dispensaries. Delta uses Little Rock’s cannabis banking specialist Abaca to clear electronic payments from other dispensaries.
“We made the decision from a safety standpoint for our drivers, and quite frankly, just from an accounting standpoint,” Parker said. “We didn’t want our drivers bringing a bunch of cash back to Newport in the delivery van.”