Second Arkansas medical marijuana dispensary given green light to open

Green Springs Medical has been given the go-ahead from Alcohol Beverage Control enforcement agents to begin selling medical marijuana to patients – the second dispensary to receive state approval.

“It’s history being made,” said Dragan Vicentic, part-owner of Green Springs Medical.

Vicentic said their dispensary located on Seneca Street in Hot Springs, will officially open for business on Monday.

Vicentic and his business partner Bruce Simpson, are expecting large turnout on opening day. The business has rented a porter-potty and has plans to possibly bring a band out to entertain anticipated patients camping out at the store on Sunday night.

“You know it’s what we’ve been waiting for, for the past two-and-a-half years,” said Vicentic.

Doctor’s Orders, the first dispensary to receive state approval, was given the green light to start selling medical marijuana last week. A sign outside their dispensary located off Highway 270 near the Garland/Hot Spring County line, shows an expected open date of May 15 – however the business reportedly made its first official sale Friday afternoon. In a press release, Doctor’s Orders says they will be open for business on Saturday starting at 8:00 AM with patients served on a “first-come, first-served basis.”

As of Friday, 11,739 medical marijuana cards had been issued to patients by the Arkansas Department of Health. A large majority of the state’s medical marijuana card holders will have to travel well-over an hour to get their hands on the first legal cannabis in Arkansas.

While the other 30 dispensaries await state approval to open, Vicentic says ABC has granted Green Springs the ability to start delivery routes to patients in distant parts of the state. Vicentic warned the cost to deliver to places like northeast Arkansas will be on the expensive side, but said his business expects to scale back its delivery map as more dispensaries open their doors.

“At this point since we’re the first couple of dispensaries, w’ell have a route to certain parts of the state where there’s a lot of people asking for it,” said Vicentic.

Only one of the state’s five cultivation centers has product ready for sale – the first harvest containing roughly 200 pounds of medical marijuana. Due to the limited supply, Vicentic plans to implement a limit of a half-ounce of cannabis per customer for purchases on their first day.

“If everybody purchased the 2.5 ounce maximum, that would only be enough for about 1,200 people,” said Vicentic.

Green Springs intends to begin growing its own homegrown brand of medical marijuana, but has yet to receive the official go-ahead to begin growing. Vicentic anticipates receiving state approval to begin the growing process within the next week.

“Then we’ve got a 120 day cycle,” said Vicentic. “So about four months from now we’ll have our own product available.”

Pricing at Green Springs is expected to start around $15 per gram – $200 per half-ounce of medical cannabis.

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