With more than two decades in California cannabis, SPARC is a visionary company rooted in humble beginnings


History Icon - Prop 215

NOV 1996

California becomes the first state to legalize medical cannabis

With 56% votes in favor, California passed Proposition 215 (the Compassionate Use Act) allowing the use of medical cannabis in the State despite the Federal cannabis policy.


Erich Pearson, SPARC’s founder, moves to California to grow cannabis

After graduating from Purdue University, Erich moved west to California. As he said in an interview in 2018, “From the time I was in middle school in Indiana, I had a landscape business and mowed lawns. I grew marijuana, too, though my mother threw away my first crop. Now she says, ‘You’ve gone from cutting grass to growing grass.’”

History Icon - Cannabis Collective


Erich starts the cannabis collective that would later become SPARC

Erich co-founded the San Francisco Cannabis Collective with a vision to fill the needs of low income qualified patients whose doctors had prescribed medical cannabis to address serious illnesses. The collective collaborated with local hospices, residential care facilities, and other dispensaries to supply medical cannabis at no cost to seriously ill patients — a tradition SPARC continues to this day.


History Icon - 1st SPARC Store

SEP 2010

The first SPARC store opens in San Francisco

The San Francisco Patient and Resource Center (SPARC) opened its doors in San Francisco. As a non-profit, the dispensary’s mission was to provide safe, consistent, and affordable medical cannabis to patients in the Bay Area.

With its sleek design, the store was immediately hailed as the “Apple Store of Marijuana” by Fast Company. In 2011 it won the interior design award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

History Icon - NCIA

DEC 2010

SPARC becomes the first official NCIA member

With a $5,000 check, SPARC becomes the first official member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the leading organization advocating for a responsible cannabis industry. SPARC’s founder, Erich Pearson, has always been a firm believer of working with government and community organizations to advance fair and just cannabis policies. He proudly served on the NCIA board from 2010 to 2020.

History Icon - Prop 64

NOV 2016

California votes to legalize adult use cannabis

With 57% votes in favor, California passed Proposition 64 (also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act) allowing for legal adult use of cannabis.

History Icon - Sonoma County

MAY 2017

SPARC plants its roots firmly in Sonoma County

SPARC merged with Sonoma-based Peace in Medicine, increasing its retail footprint from two locations in San Francisco to four stores in the Bay Area.

SPARC also planted its first crop on its new property close to Glen Ellen, CA — in the heart of Sonoma Valley. Through a partnership with Mike Benzinger, a famed biodynamic wine grower in the region, there is a strong emphasis placed on biodynamic growing practices. From early on, SPARC’s vision is to open its wine country farm to the public for tours and cannabis education.


History Icon - Adult Use

JAN 2018

Adult use cannabis goes into effect in California

On January 1st adult use cannabis goes into effect. At 10:30am, SPARC Sebastopol becomes one of the first adult use retail locations in the State.

History Icon - SPARC Farm

OCT 2018

The Pheonix rises at the SPARC Farm

A year after the inaugural crop at the SPARC Farm was completely destroyed by the Nuns Fire, SPARC successfully harvested its first crop from the land. Erich and the resilient SPARC team lived up to a promise made one year earlier: “We’ve all huddled and we’re ready to build it, bigger and better.” And the vision to open the SPARC Farm to the public is still very much alive.

History Icon - Manufacturing & Distribution

JAN 2019

SPARC becomes a fully vertical cannabis operator

After months of build out, SPARC opens its 25k sqft manufacturing & distribution facility in Santa Rosa, CA. This facility is home to SPARC’s vertical brands, like Marigold — the “always sun grown” brand that focuses on “cultivation with a conscience.”


SPARC navigates the COVID-19 pandemic & emerges stronger than before

In February, Erich Pearson become a founding member of the Cannabis Business Association of Sonoma County (CBASC), an organization that is “leading the charge to make local regulations more supportive of craft cannabis businesses and transforming the County into a world-class cannabis tourism destination.”

…and then COVID-19 hit. While the pandemic has been difficult for everyone, SPARC has a spirit and a long history of resilience. From the farm to SPARC’s retail footprint, we look at this as a moment to reflect, double-down our effort, and grow to become an even strong company than before. There are many exciting irons in the fire — stay tuned to see where we go from here…


SPARC deepens its roots in San Francisco and the Sonoma Valley

In April of 2022 SPARC opened a new flagship store in San Francisco, SPARC on Polk Street, as well as the first dispensary in Sonoma, Ca. 


SPARC extends into new markets in Napa, California.

The first SPARC Napa store opens its doors on April 20th, 2024.