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San Francisco’s SPARC cannabis dispensary merges with Peace in Medicine

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Peace in Medicine will soon be no more.

Sonoma County’s well-known dispensaries in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa will be rebranded with a new name — SPARC — in a move reflecting an official merger of the local collective with its longtime nonprofit partner in San Francisco.

The signs haven’t changed yet at the North Dutton Avenue location in Santa Rosa or at its Sebastopol Avenue storefront in Sebastopol. That will take weeks and maybe months, plus two city permits, according to spokesman Joel Freston.

SPARC CEO Erich Pearson announced the merger Monday, saying the groups began integrating operations two years ago to remain competitive in anticipation of statewide cannabis regulations. SPARC is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that began in 2001 as a collaboration between several small collectives.

Patients of the dispensary may have noticed a branding change in the last several months, with more SPARC-branded flowers, edibles and concentrates being sold at the store, along with the company’s Marigold outdoor-grown brand. SPARC grows the majority of its own cannabis, according to Pearson. Peace in Medicine–branded products have been mostly phased out.

According to Pearson, all of SPARC’s products are lab-tested for both quality and potency, something that’s been a major concern of consumers as legislation continues to be hammered out.

Peace In Medicine was founded in 2007 by Robert Jacob, who was elected to the Sebastopol City Council in 2012 and served through 2016. Jacob took a leave of absence from the dispensary last year to care for his ailing mother. Pearson, who co-founded the Mission Street dispensary SPARC, which stands for San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, took over operations of the Sonoma County dispensaries.

Peace in Medicine is a mutual benefit corporation under California law, giving it nonprofit status as an organization set up to serve its membership.

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