he chief executive officer of the Tasty Budd’s Compassion Club says he’s stepping down from the troubled marijuana dispensary chain.
But Norman Arthur Lawrence said he’s not leaving because The Chronicle Herald revealed Wednesday that he shot a man to death in a Spryfield daycare parking lot in August 1995. He was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michael Forsyth, but convicted by a jury in 1998 on the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Instead, the 46-year-old said he’s quitting because he should have seen problems brewing before police raided four homes and five storefronts of the medical marijuana outfit last Friday and one store again Tuesday, resulting in dozens of criminal charges including trafficking against Lawrence and eight others.
“I dropped the ball when it came to watching out for the best interest of these stores,” Lawrence said.
The company’s president, Malachy McMeekin, apologized in writing Monday for alleged illegal activity he claimed was limited to the company’s Lower Sackville store.
“I should have seen it first,” Lawrence said in an interview Wednesday.
“I did nothing wrong in this company except for failing the company by not recognizing that there was a few bad apples in that barrel and I couldn’t wean them out. We have a very good vetting process when it comes to Tasy Budd’s and I figure that I got bamboozled. And because I got bamboozled I figure that the whole company got bamboozled. And, you know what? It just shines a negative light.”
Stores help people, Lawrence maintains
Lawrence said he was the CEO of Tasty Budd’s for 18 months.
He had planned to resign Tuesday when “the police came through the door and re-arrested” him and three others at the company’s storefront in Cole Harbour.
“We built a pretty good company that can help the public,” Lawrence said.
“We’re helping people every day that have (health problems) from chronic pain to (post-traumatic stress disorder) to fibromyalgia to cancer.”