US (CA): Million-dollar lawsuit between cannabis investor and farmer

A sprawling lawsuit in San Luis Obispo County over the alleged misuse of millions of dollars pits William Szymczak, former division leader at federal Housing and Urban Development, against Helios Dayspring, founder of the Natural Healing Center cannabis dispensary in Grover Beach. Dayspring, who went into business with Szymczak in 2018, also happens to own 400 acres in Santa Barbara County for which he was pursuing five permits to grow cannabis.

Known to his friends as “Bobby,” Dayspring reportedly owns three cannabis shops and multiple grow sites in San Luis Obispo County and has access to 11 of S.L.O. County’s 144 cannabis land-use permits. He and Szymczak became partners when Szymczak plonked $17 million into the next big thing. The resulting lawsuit, however, lands in Superior Court on October 21 as a demand to remove the businesses from Dayspring’s control and put them in the hands of a receiver to manage.

It’s a complicated empire: The caption for the lawsuit lists 30 plaintiffs and defendants, most of them limited liability companies owned by either Szymczak or Dayspring. Another of Dayspring’s entities — Orcutt Holdings LLC — bought the market in Orcutt’s Old Town, reportedly the only market in the area, evicting the tenants to make space for a future cannabis store and causing a furor in the small community. Whether Dayspring will get one of the six retail permits to be issued in Santa Barbara County is sheer speculation, as the merit-based competition won’t be decided until sometime in 2021.


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