12/1/2021 | North Bay Business Journal

Fearing market collapse, Sonoma County cannabis industry seeks cultivation tax removal

By Susan Wood

Stemming from a threatened raise in state cannabis cultivation taxes, the Cannabis Business Association of Sonoma County and the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Enthusiasts have joined forces and plan to ask for “immediate tax reform” from the Sonoma... read more

"Our industry is in deep trouble. We’re impacted on several important fronts. Our industry is taxed like no other, we have few retail outlets available to us, the illicit market continues to boom, and we face unparalleled regulatory hurdles. Frankly, what we’re experiencing is a market collapse."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

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

7/16/2021 | Weedmaps

5 weed products Besito founder Maggie Connors can't live without

By Andy Andersen

Maggie Connors is the founder and CEO of Besito, an Los Angeles-based cannabis brand specializing in “mini-joint” prerolls of classic California-grown strains. Besito was recently acquired by vertically integrated Bay Area cannabis... read more

"This idea of human-led design thinking was also drilled into me at Stanford. The way great design can inspire innovation, new concepts, new brands, stuff you've never even thought of when you can really think creatively."
Maggie Connors
Founder, besito & VP of Marketing, SPARC
"I think the thing in this industry that always helps me keep it in perspective is, this was not as tough as the queer community in California that pushed for laws to help their friends dying, and it's not as tough as hundreds and thousands of mostly Black and brown males sitting in jail for the same thing. I'm very aware of the history and the privilege it was for me to come in when I did. So I always try to use our platform to educate and make sure everyone knows the history of this plant and the advocates before us and what a privilege it is for even just a consumer to buy something. We're all privileged."
Maggie Connors
Founder, besito & VP of Marketing, SPARC

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

6/25/2021 | Green Market Report

The LGBTQ Leaders in Cannabis

By Debra Borchardt

Green Market Report wants to celebrate Pride month and all the members of the LGBTQ community. This list certainly doesn’t include every leader in the cannabis industry and we apologize if there are key people we missed. We put out requests on... read more

"Under the direction of [besito founder Maggie] Connors and the creative director Ely Kim, the brand advocates for LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, and the advancement of scientific research in cannabis."
"[Besito founder Maggie] Connors has an MBA from Stanford and a background in brand management and product design for global companies like Apple, Pepsi, and Starbucks. She was an early-stage cannabis investor and industry pioneer, before founding Besito in 2017."

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

6/23/2021 | North Bay Business Journal

Founder of Santa Rosa cannabis dispensary SPARC wins Pride Business Leadership award

Erich Pearson, CEO and founder of Santa Rosa-based cannabis dispensary SPARC, is a winner of North Bay Business Journal’s inaugural Pride Business Leadership Awards. “For the past 20 years Erich Pearson has been dedicated to advancing the... read more

"For the past 20 years Erich Pearson has been dedicated to advancing the cannabis industry, promoting inclusivity and LBGTQ rights, and has been recognized for his vision and leadership. From long-time advocate to legislative consultant, from dispensary operator to cultivation expert, his credentials and experience are unquestionable. As for this contributions to the Pride Movement. Erich and SPARC have a long, rich history of LBGTQ activism and community support that includes policies and core values that are inclusive and value diversity, as well as contributions to a multitude of community organizations and projects."

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

6/18/2021 | InStyle

7 Cannabis Brands That Give Back to Black Communities

As they should.

By Kayla Greaves

The state-by-state legalization of cannabis has been a slippery slope. On one hand, it’s given peace of mind and certain freedoms to those who consumed the plant during prohibition. But on the other, it’s become quite clear that the... read more

"Besito is an LA-based cannabis company that sells mini joints, full-sized pre-rolls, and vapes. Since September 2019, Besito has partnered with Equity First Alliance, a non-profit that aims to repair the damage done by the war on drugs, to create the A Record Shouldn't Last a Lifetime campaign, which pushes for widespread automated expungements and helps those in need find legal resources. The brand currently donates 1% of its profits towards the initiative. In addition, they are also among the founding members of Cannabis for Black Lives and were sponsors of National Expungement Week in 2020."

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

6/11/2021 | Emerald Magazine

100+ LGBTQIA+ Owned Cannabis Companies to Support Right Now

By Melissa Hutsell

Currently, the legal cannabis industry is worth more than $9 billion, according to Grand View Research. It’s only expected to grow, providing alternative forms of treatment, relief, and millions of jobs along the way. The emergence of this... read more

"SPARC began in 1998 as a trailblazer in medical cannabis, and today continues to originate and propagate many of the industry’s most rigorous quality-control practices."
"SPARC is committed to advancing the standards of how cannabis is cultivated, packaged and retailed industry-wide, and being a force for good in the neighborhoods and communities we call home."

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

6/2/2021 | PR Newswire

SPARC Expands Consumer Brand Portfolio with Acquisition of besito

SPARC, one of San Francisco’s oldest and largest vertically integrated cannabis operators, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire besito, a Los Angeles-based, women-founded company known for its premium products and mission to... read more

"We're thrilled to welcome Maggie as an accomplished founder to our executive team as we continue scaling our vertical business in California. Besito is a natural fit within our family of brands, committed to both quality and advocacy, and the integration will immediately add accretive value to our emerging products business."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC
"Besito is proud to join SPARC, whose longstanding history of community reinvestment aligns with besito's advocacy towards expungement and reparative justice for marginalized communities. The vertical nature of SPARC will advance besito's business across the board, from the high quality cannabis grown at SPARC Farms through to the retail footprint of SPARC stores."
Maggie Connors
Founder & CEO, besito

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

5/20/2021 | Sonoma Index-Tribune

Sonoma Planning Commission OKs dispensary use permit

By Braden Cartwright

The design of Sonoma’s first commercial storefront cannabis dispensary was hammered last week by members of the Sonoma Planning Commission, who said the renovations by dispensary operator Sparc would make the building look “quasi-industrial,”... read more

"...commissioners were impressed by the details of the operation, and they approved a use permit for the retail business..."
"I know the council is super motivated, on behalf of the city, of course, to get the doors open of the dispensary and get the tax revenues through and get the services we provide and the cannabis that the community has been waiting for."
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

Learn more: see all of SPARC's locations

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

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