4/12/2022 | Sonoma Valley Sun

A peek inside Sonoma’s first cannabis dispensary

By Sonoma Valley Sun

SPARC has confirmed that its anticipated Sonoma dispensary — the city’s first — will open to customers on Wednesday, April 20 — 4/20, in case you didn’t notice. The 4,000 sq. ft. retail store at 19315 Highway 12 occupies the... read more

"“It has always been my dream to operate this kind of a world-class facility so close to home — and being able to employ local workers who are literally my neighbors is incredibly gratifying.”"
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

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

4/4/2022 | Marin Independent Journal

Sausalito receives 2nd cannabis ballot proposal

By Giuseppe Ricapito

Sausalito voters could be facing competing cannabis initiatives on the November ballot. Paul Austin, a Marin City nonprofit leader, and Erich Pearson, the head of a cannabis company in Sonoma County, have filed a ballot proposal with the city. If it... read more


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

3/18/2022 | The Press Democrat

Sonoma County slashes tax paid by commercial cannabis growers, offering relief to ailing industry

By Emma Murphy

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has agreed to cut nearly in half the tax paid by local cannabis growers, offering a lifeline to growers who say they are drowning under the county and state’s taxes and fees. Based on county figures, the cut... read more

"“We don’t think it’s fair,” Pearson said. “We still would like to be taxed like any other agricultural industry.”"
Erich Pearson
Founder & CEO, SPARC

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

12/9/2021 | Sonoma News

Ahead of Emerald Cup Harvest Ball, cannabis growers raise alarm over taxes, regulations

By Bill Swindell

About 30,000 cannabis enthusiasts are expected to trek through the Sonoma County Fairgrounds next weekend for the revamped Emerald Cup Harvest Ball, a celebration all about the plant that has been a social, regulatory and business fixture for... read more

"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

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