A peek inside Sonoma’s first cannabis dispensary

Posted on April 12, 2022 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 heavily-remodeled building that had lately been a series of Mexican restaurants.

The space is buzzing with workers outfitting the display space; the landscaping comes next, and the signage goes up next week. The scene is low-key hectic, but CEO Erich Pearson has seen it before — this is SPARC’s fifth Bay Area shop. He says it’s all on track to make the 4/20 grand opening.

The company is headquartered in Santa Rosa. Pearson lives in Glen Ellen.

“I am beyond delighted to finally have a business right here in my own town,” Pearson says. “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.”

SPARC was awarded the city’s lone dispensary permit in August of 2020. The city council has yet to decide if and when to allow a second operation.

Holding the first cannabis retail license for the City of Sonoma, SPARC’s historic new location is its third in Sonoma County, joining dispensaries in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, as well as two San Francisco locations.

SPARC Sonoma opens on Wednesday, April 20, at 9am. 19315 Highway 12, Sonoma. Open daily, 9am-8pm. Customers must be 21 and older and have a valid I.D. in order to enter the store.

Look for Jonah Raskin’s story on the new SPARC outlet in the April 15 issue of The Sun

10 thoughts on “A peek inside Sonoma’s first cannabis dispensary

  1. I am a member of the LGBT community. I understand issues that underprivileged my have time opening businesses like these. I have followed this story for years and at first rooted for Eric Peirson because he is a homosexual. But I found out from following this that some of the path that lead to his selection by the city of Sonoma was shady to say the least. I came to find out from some professionals around him some of the unethical and shady practices he uses to achieve his goals. I think he gives LGBT community a bad name. He apparently was involved in back room dealings to secure his selection that involved his staff involved in deals with Rachael hundley’s husband who was acting as a lobbyist and gatekeeper to the ex-council members vote. I am told by multiple sources that this shady dealing is why Hundley needed to step down from the Sonoma city counsel after recusing herself from the vote that ensured Eric peirsons selection. At first the counsel repealed their selection of sparc after this conflict and flagrant pay to play accusation was brought to the attention of the press and other counsel members. He should have been disqualified in my opinion but they ratified his selection n the dust that settled as hundley was disgraced and removed after an ethics inquiries from a state body it’s not fair to the other operators. Was he given favorable treatment because he is a outwardly gay man who donates to gay causes and promotes LGBT at the core of his model? That’s wrong. I don’t think being gay should give him any advantages but apparently it does. It was a clear ethics violation that landed him his selection. I am LGBT but I am against using it as a tool to get favorable treatment. And I am against using donations to LGBT causes because I think that families should be the ones who talk about these topics and not some pot broker who uses his sexual preference as a business tool. No one questions his ethics violations involved in his aggressive and shady dealings. He gets a pass because he is gay. That is not good for the rest of us in the gay community because people see this double standard and favoritism and blame all LGBT not just unethical bullies like peirson. There are a lot of dispensaries opening in the area. The selection of peirson was shady and protecting his monopoly in the city is wrong for any reason. Ask Amy Harrington who used to be the mayor of Sonoma about peirson and sparc unethical dealings to steal the selection. Amy Harrington was there and knows what happened. I assume agramonte knows too. And the city lawyer definitely know. It’s why hundleys political career ended in disgrace. Look it up. I am gay bu I am against bullies and cheats whether they are gay or not. I will spend my money elsewhere. I hope the city looks into the unethical way peirson achieves his goals for his well-funded business. Also, I think it’s cliche to donate to gay causes. It’s a ploy. It he really cared and it wasn’t about business he would make his philanthropies confidentially. I’ve been to sparc in Santa Rosa and they have terrible house brands and limited selection of brands I want. Apparently you cannot cheat at growing good weed. I will spend my money elsewhere.

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