3/26/2021 | San Francisco Business Times

Why the cannabis industry may be moving faster than expected into mainstream banking

By Mark Calvey

My report earlier this week that Oakland’s Harborside received a $12 million business loan from a bank smoked out another cannabis company eager to say that it, too, received a bank loan — back in summer of 2020. The significance of the... read more

"Sparc’s [Founder & CEO Erich] Pearson is among the pioneers of California’s legalized cannabis industry, having moved to California from Indiana in 1998 to grow cannabis, two years after Golden State voters legalized the drug for medicinal use. Pearson co-founded the San Francisco Cannabis Collective in 2001, which would later become Sparc, or the San Francisco Patient and Resource Center..."

Learn more: read about SPARC's long history in California cannabis

3/17/2021 | The Press Democrat

Sonoma County commission to take up long-delayed rules for commercial cannabis farms

By Julie Johnson

Sonoma County is reconsidering its rules for cannabis cultivation with the goal of streamlining the approval process for growers and aligning the industry more closely with traditional agriculture. A central element of the county’s plan is to... read more

"Sonoma County needs to have a business-friendly environment. Sonoma County is known for direct-to-consumer sales, hospitality. It’s a destination. This is a perfect crop to do that with."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

3/11/2021 | Anderson Valley Advertiser

Kids & Cannabis Today

By Jonah Raskin

They’re demonized and exploited, revered for their youth and reviled simply because they’re young. They are today’s teenagers, the post-millennials, who came of age during Drumpf’s nightmare presidency, the flowering of the Black Lives... read more

"[SPARC Fonder & CEO Erich] Pearson has promised to hire locals, pay them a living wage, promote local brands, and allocate 5 % of profits or a minimum of $20,000 annually for the benefit of the city. Pearson has also vowed to 'donate up to $4,000 a month of free product to qualified patients in the City [of Sonoma] and in the immediate surrounding area.'"
"The challenge will be to make sure that visitors to the [Sonoma] Valley consume cannabis safely, especially if and when they also drink wine. Some users will be newbies so we’ll have to educate them and work with the city to provide places where they can consume lawfully."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

Learn more: see all of SPARC's locations

3/3/2021 | Bohemian

Cultivator Chris Hayes

California Dreaming

By Jonah Raskin

Chris Hayes was a Californian before he came to California, though he didn’t really know it. His 19th-century counterparts arrived from the four corners of the world to pan for gold. “I came for the San Francisco music scene,” he tells me on... read more

"Hayes has cultivated marijuana in more parts of Sonoma County than any other grower I‘ve ever met. He’s grown indoors and outdoors, in greenhouses and in natural sunlight, in the hills outside Healdsburg and in Santa Rosa, Occidental and Glen Ellen."
"You gotta take what Mother Nature gives you. That means using the sun, the air, the water and the ground itself."
Chris Hayes
Lead Cultivator, SPARC

Learn more: take a virtual tour of the SPARC Farm, located in the heart of Sonoma Valley

2/1/2021 | Kenwood Press

SPARC cannabis project receives county OK

By Melissa Dowling

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a project use permit for cannabis farming and cultivation on a portion of the former Gordenker Turkey Farms property in Glen Ellen during its Jan. 26 meeting. “This is the perfect... read more

"This is the perfect location for cannabis cultivation and processing"
Susan Gorin
First District Supervisor, Sonoma County
"...the operation’s partners, including Erich Pearson and Sean Kelley, are not only 'organized,' 'clean,' and 'professional' farmers, but also good neighbors. Several [speakers during the January 26th hearing] recalled how the applicants helped rescue nearby homes when the Nuns Fire devastated the area—including the Gordenker ranch itself—in October 2017."
"I view our use permit as a first of many steps in Sonoma Valley. We hope to work with the local government to create public access on the property, in the form of a retail sales store, a dispensary for products that we grow, or maybe a farm stand. We’ve built a lake on the property. We’re looking forward to exploring the opportunity of glamping and on-site overnight access overnight access on the backside of the property. We’re looking forward to making a more of a hospitality centered experience around the farm"
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

Learn more: take a virtual tour of the SPARC Farm, located in the heart of Sonoma Valley

12/16/2020 | Sonoma Index-Tribune

City Council moves forward with pot dispensary

By Jason Walsh

Sonoma officials on Monday gave the green light for the city’s first-ever commercial cannabis business. The city council voted 4-0-1 at its Dec. 14 meeting to grant a conditional certificate to Santa Rosa-based Sparc, enabling the cannabis company... read more

"The city council voted 4-0-1 at its Dec. 14 meeting to grant a conditional certificate to Santa Rosa-based Sparc, enabling the cannabis company to potentially open its planned dispensary at 19315 Sonoma Highway in 2021."
"According to Sonoma Planning Director David Storer, the next step is for Sparc to apply to the Sonoma Planning Commission for a use permit for its Sonoma Highway location and, if it receives that, Sparc would then apply to the city manager for the commercial cannabis license."

Learn more: see all of SPARC's locations

10/8/2020 | ABC 7

Sonoma County cannabis growers concerned about smoke taint after wildfires

By Wayne Freedman

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Harvest time in Sonoma County. We’ve already heard about the grapes, and concerns about how smoke taint from fires will eliminate some vintages, but here’s something new. “That’s ash... read more

"The wine industry is flattening out. Sonoma County can use all the tourism it can get because of the fires. So, we're hoping to do that."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

Learn more: take a virtual tour of the SPARC Farm, located in the heart of Sonoma Valley

9/9/2020 | Bohemian

A Farm and a Dispensary Bloom in Sonoma

By Jonah Raskin

Mike Benziger has grown many things in his life, but not this. “We’re not growing placebos,” Benziger tells me at Glentucky Family Farm, where his pot patch looks and feels more like a jungle than a garden. It’s challenging to move around... read more

"SPARC is local, owns and operates a cannabis farm in Sonoma Valley, runs dispensaries in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and San Francisco, and has a proven track record."

Learn more: read about SPARC's long history in California cannabis

8/19/2020 | Wine Business Monthly

SPARC Awarded Sonoma's Exclusive Cannabis Retail License

Today SPARC announced that the City of Sonoma has awarded the company an exclusive cannabis retail license further enhancing its presence in Sonoma County, where it currently operates locations in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, with its third... read more

"The city ran a very competitive process and we are deeply honored to have been selected. As a Glen Ellen resident, it has been my dream to operate a world-class facility in my own back yard."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC
"We look forward to expanding our existing footprint in this community, offering well-paying jobs to Valley residents, and continuing our excellence in providing access to safe legal cannabis to consumers and medical patients."
Sean Kelley
President & COO, SPARC

Learn more: see all of SPARC's locations

8/18/2020 | Sonoma Index-Tribune

Sonoma dispensary license awarded to Sparc

By Jason Walsh

Sparc, a Santa Rosa-based cannabis company, will receive Sonoma’s lone business license to operate a storefront dispensary in the city limits. The Sonoma City Council voted 5-0 at its Aug. 17 council meeting, held via the Zoom online platform, to... read more

"As part of its proposal, Sparc promises to donate 5 percent of its profits to support various local nonprofits, including the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and La Luz Center."

Learn more: see all of SPARC's locations