SPARC (BPN, C12876), located at 1256 Mission St , is pleased to present a revised model for supporting Equity Operators in San Francisco.
To increase awareness of our program, and to encourage Equity eligible persons to connect with us, we are sending introductory emails to each person on the list supplied by the OEWD of Equity eligible persons. We will check with OEWD for any updates to that list and continue with the introductory emails on a monthly basis. The mentoring and consultations offered will now include:
- Sharing knowledge on customer trends and demand via one-on-one mentoring sessions, as well as offering a class on customer service and member consultant skills. These mentoring sessions will be scheduled on a case by case basis with up to one hour of consultations offered per month.
- SPARC (BPN) will provide Equity vendors with feedback and support on product quality, design, and compliance, with the intention of carrying their products at SPARC.
- SPARC (BPN) will also endeavor to offer product shelf space for new local equity vendors. We will seek to carry up to three products from equity vendors per category at any given time. We are in the process of adding a vendor inquiry section to our website, including a question for potential vendors about their equity status. This intake form will be posted on our website by the end of March. This will help our team identify equity products for intake and provide a channel to give feedback to equity operators who may not contact us via our equity web form.
- Where we are unable to provide the assistance in-house, Equity vendors will be offered recommendations and referrals to qualified professionals who can assist with their needs.
In addition to the outreach and consultations described above, SPARC (BPN) will also further support the San Francisco Equity Program through the following internal commitments:
- SPARC will enhance our staff training about equity, adding a section to our employee handbook and reviewing the qualifications and opportunities with all staff upon hiring. The new section will be announced and reviewed with staff before the end of March. Subsequent one-on-one follow up meetings will be available for any staff seeking further mentorship or guidance.
- SPARC (BPN) will also continue to provide reasonable scheduling consideration to allow employees to pursue educational opportunities.
SPARC (BPN) will continue to post all job openings with First Source at least 10 days prior to posting the position elsewhere in order to give Equity qualified persons the opportunity to apply for the position first, to enhance their likelihood of being hired and maintain compliance with Article 16, Section 1618. SPARC will also add the following measures to further support the equity employment goals of San Francisco:
- Within 4 weeks, SPARC (BPN) will establish a relationship with local organizations to enhance our recruitment of equity eligible hiring candidates. The groups we hope to work with include America Works, United Playaz, Mission Hiring Hall, and Code Tenderloin. We plan to contact these organizations to recruit potential employees concurrently with our First Source hiring period. We also plan to inquire about any upcoming hiring fairs and support workforce development programs.
- SPARC will also find a local non-profit interested in hosting one-on-one meetings with Equity eligible members of the community to help explain the process for getting cannabis related convictions removed from their records, or a group that will provide another direct community benefit, and offer the SPARC (BPN) dispensaries as common meeting spaces for these services. This space will be made available to such partners at least 4 times per year. Due to space constraints at our Haight St. location, these all may be held at our Mission St. location, although 2 of these will be held on behalf of the Haight St. location, SPARC (MIPARC).
In addition to SPARC’s proposed support of, and partnership with, Urban Playaz, and Mission Hiring hall, we continue to support broader equity goals by offering support to equity applicants, vendors, and staff.
Another staple of our Equity Plan is our Compassion Program, which has been central to our mission since SPARC (BPN) opened in 2010 at the 1256 Mission St location. Since Q3 2016, SPARC has donated cannabis with an approximate retail value of $120,000. Currently, SPARC’s Compassion Program is made up of individual patients, as our work with the Maitri Hospice has been put on hold until we are able to coordinate MMIC cards for the indigent patients there. The retail value of SPARCs cannabis donations to individual San Francisco based patients with HIV/AIDS, Cancer, or other chronic diseases for which cannabis has been shown to offer relief was approximately $4,020 in January 2019. We anticipate maintaining roughly this level of cannabis donation going forward, contingent upon patient demand.
We also work with the Sweet Leaf Collective to support their compassion program by selling lighters that pay for the taxes on cannabis donated to terminally ill patients. We carry these lighters at all of our locations and promote them in our email newsletters.
In addition to maintaining our Compassion Program for qualified individuals and supporting the Sweet Leaf Collective, SPARC hopes to resume donations to patients at the Maitri Hospice, as well. In order to do so, SPARC will take the following steps:
- First, we will donate roughly $2,000 to pay for MMIC card fees and the costs associated with visiting SF DPH for 18 patients per year.
- Upon receipt of an MMIC card, Maitri patients will be enrolled in our compassion program and be eligible for up to 1oz of cannabis per month.
SPARC on Haight has been a long term member of the Lower Haight Merchants and Neighbors Association (LOHAMNA). SPARC’s Haight location continues to make $500 monthly donations to LOHAMNA to support the neighborhood and honor our long term relationship with LOHAMNA.
SPARC’s Mission St. location is committed to finding a neighborhood organization to support with a regular contribution of up to $200 per month. SPARC (BPN) will select an organization from the neighborhood and begin making regular contributions.
SPARC (BPN) will also continue with the food drives it has previously conducted. One took place from October to December 2018 at all SPARC stores, and we will continue to hold 2 drives per year at SPARC (BPN), which may include, but are not limited to, a canned food drive, a holiday children’s toy