The owners of the state’s five licensed medical marijuana processing companies have varied backgrounds, to say the least. One is a spine surgeon, another a former property manager and uniform salesman, and a third an ex-legal counsel to Playboy’s Hugh Hefner.
Ownership details were included in 2022 applications for license renewal with the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission.
One of the owners of Shake Extractions of Fayetteville, Julie Brents, has considerable cannabis retail and cultivation experience in California but also a degree in commercial interior design from the University of North Texas. She owns 39% of the company, according to Shake’s license renewal application with the state. Partner Brittany Phillips runs Phillips Design Studio in Fayetteville, a graphic design shop that has done work for Crisis Brewing, the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and the city of Fayetteville. She and Antigone “Tig” Davoulas each own 30% of Shake Extractions. Davoulas is a lawyer and writer, onetime movie critic and former counsel and manager of licensing business affairs at Playboy Enterprises Inc. of Beverly Hills. Lab manager Syrona Scott, who owns 1% of Shake Extractions, has a master’s degree in chemistry.
Pure Pharma Labs of Little Rock is led by Christopher Gibson, a CBD processor who expanded into marijuana, taking advantage of a degree in horticulture. He owns 50% of the company with partners Dr. J. Justin Seale and Amy Seale, an experienced compounding pharmacist and yoga teacher, who each own 25%. Justin Seale is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Baptist Health and a native of Sparkman (Dallas County).
Casey Flippo, 100% owner of Dark Horse Medicinals of Little Rock, previously led CBD processing for Natvana, worked for the uniform company Cintas and was an assistant property manager for Capstone Real Estate Investments in Fayetteville.
Danielle Buntyon, 100% owner of Mink & Kimball Extracts of Marion (Crittenden County), named her company for the Memphis intersection where she grew up, Mink Street and Kimball Avenue. She worked in sports marketing, and even has a master’s in sports management from Middle Tennessee State. But she found her calling when she earned certification in agriculture from Tennessee State University in 2019 in a regimen Buntyon described as a program for new farmers entering the field.
Carla McCord owns New Day Laboratories of Hot Springs. She is majority owner of Leafology, the Hot Springs medicinal cannabis cultivator, and owns several other well known businesses in town, including Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant, Kahuna Bay boat rentals and Salty Dog Boating Center.