SPARC, represented by Erich Pearson, its Founder and CEO, has joined the board of North Bay Leadership Council (NBLC).
“NBLC values the cannabis industry as an important economic engine in the North Bay that will continue to contribute much needed jobs and revenue as the region strives to recover from our economic shock,” said NBLC Board Chair Patty Garbarino. A leader in the cannabis industry, we welcome Erich and SPARC’s participation in our advocacy efforts.”
SPARC currently operates five retail locations: three in San Francisco and two in Sonoma County (in Santa Rosa and in Sebastopol), with its Sonoma location coming online later this year. SPARC has 25,000 square feet of manufacturing, processing and distribution space in Santa Rosa, where its corporate offices are located, and 20,000 square feet of centralized processing at its Glen Ellen estate farm anticipated to be up and running this summer.
“I am honored to be appointed to the North Bay Leadership Council. SPARC is committed to serving the North Bay community to ensure that we have a strong economy, skilled workforce and protected environment,” said Pearson.
Born in Indiana, Pearson moved to California to cultivate cannabis and quickly immersed himself in San Francisco’s cannabis reform movement, spearheading efforts to protect the industry from criminal prosecution and implement programs to provide free cannabis to medically ill patients.
Pearson opened SPARC’s first retail store in San Francisco 2012. In 2015, SPARC merged with Peace in Medicine, a highly respected industry peer with two retail facilities in Sonoma County and began cultivating cannabis in Sonoma County’s wine country in 2017. The following year, the SPARC farm became Demeter Certified for Biodynamic cultivation, making it one of the largest Biodynamic cannabis farms in California.
SPARC currently employs 150 people. Pearson’s business partner Sean Kelley serves as President and Chief Operating Officer, leveraging his experience in retail, consulting and supply chain. Other longstanding members of the team include Vice President of Finance, Kelly Rogoff, and Vice President of Human Resources, Jo Galauski.
Pearson has maintained his commitment to developing compassionate care programs, providing free cannabis to qualified medical patients in the communities they serve. He also continues to promote social equity in the industry, instituting practices that promote the hiring of individuals from disadvantaged communities and communities of color.
When SPARC’s Sonoma location opens later this year, Pearson will donate 5 percent of its profits in support of various local nonprofits, including the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation and La Luz Center.
Like many local businesses, SPARC is facing the challenges associated with the pandemic. “I look forward to working with the NBLC to tackle the challenges affecting our business climate and working with my fellow Board Members to advance policies that foster business expansion and greater economic prosperity in the County,” said Pearson.