“At the heart of Tuesday’s chaos was John Loe”

This is the guy who 2 of our city council members suggested other investors team up with to help him overcome financial difficulties in opening two dispensaries outside of Sonoma.

According to the Press Democrat, “At the heart of Tuesday’s chaos was John Loe, also known as John Lobro, who previously made headlines when his Sebastopol neighbors complained about his frequent discharge of semi-automatic weapons at the personal gun range he has constructed on his property. Loe has also been trying to open two cannabis dispensaries in the Sonoma area.

“He has delivered angry messages at other recent public meetings. And on Sept. 22, he sent a demeaning, misogynist email to Supervisor Susan Gorin that took exception to a reference she had made to the gun range issue.

‘Be careful what you say about me to your friends in the press,’ Loe wrote in the email, which The Press Democrat reviewed. ‘i am taking notes and will hold you accountable. I promise you i will expose, challenge, and defeat you.’

He added, ‘i wish the worst for you and your loved ones including poor health and sickness.’”

We have to ask, would you ever buy from someone who is antisemitic, racist or anti-gay?

You can read the article, “More vitriol aimed at Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, this time in person” at the Press Democrat.

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

The Voice for Cannabis in Sonoma Valley since 2017

<- We’ve got a ranting white supremicist on the left, and a self-serving, ethically-challenged operator at the right ->, both of whom own dispensaries in the vicinity of the city of Sonoma and the Valley.

And right here in the middle, we have patients and consumers who are subjected to dubious service at the hands of those who do not reflect the values of our community.

We deserve better. Why should we be victimized by circumstances that strong arm us into giving away our hard-earned money to support businesses more interested in profit than honorable service?

We believe everyone would be better off if the city of Sonoma would stop protecting Erich Pearson and company, cease running John Loe as a screen against reasonable access, and start the process for the second dispensary.

#boycottsparc #boycottloedispensaries

IMPORTANT NOTICE

On January 20, 2021, the city council voted to amend our ordinance to permit an additional walk-in retail dispensary. The newly revised ordinance went into effect on May 19.

A second retail outlet would improve service to the 45,000 people living in the greater Sonoma area. Competition can provide folks here with easy, safe access to more product choice, better services, etc. That’s what the free market is all about, isn’t it? Everybody wins, the city, adult consumers and *especially* medical users.

However, there have been forces within the industry that are working against the second dispensary option and would prefer that the new permit process be slow-walked. You can read about it in this post.

Rather Fail with Honor than Succeed by Fraud – Sophocles

by | April 23, 2023

Erich Pearson, CEO of sparc, currently operates 5 cannabis dispensaries in Sonoma County and San Francisco. His dispensary in the city of Sonoma has been open for nearly 2 years and until recently enjoyed the enviable position as the one and only cannabis retail shop within a 15 mile radius. It was, at the very least, a one hour round trip drive to any of his competitors.

In order to maintain his retail stronghold, Mr. Pearson has employed numerous questionable tactics, but the charge he lodged against us in public to the Sonoma City Council, strikes a new low. See video, above.

1. Our Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group is a 200+ member independent, informal advocacy group. SVCG is not, nor has it ever been, affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with any other company, agency or government agency. We view any charge to the contrary as defamation of character, resulting in a negative reflection on our reputation.

2. Furthermore, we can say with certainty that no members of SVCG have allied themselves with any “out-of-town operator” who lives in San Francisco.

3. SVCG has never received any funding from any outside source.

4. Our mission has been to assist the city of Sonoma shape compassionate cannabis policy and to keep our members informed of developments that bear on their needs. SVCG finds Mr. Pearson’s accusation that our group is something more than an unfunded, small town, grass-roots advocacy group to be insulting, deceitful and completely devoid of truth.

Under circumstances such as this, a public retraction and apology would be an appropriate remedy.

Gil Latimer

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

IMPORTANT NOTICE

On January 20, 2021, the city council voted to amend our ordinance to permit an additional walk-in retail dispensary. The newly revised ordinance went into effect on May 19.

A second retail outlet would improve service to the 45,000 people living in the greater Sonoma area. Competition can provide folks here with easy, safe access to more product choice, better services, etc. That’s what the free market is all about, isn’t it? Everybody wins, the city, adult consumers and *especially* medical users.

However, there have been forces within the industry that are working against the second dispensary option and would prefer that the new permit process be slow-walked. You can read about it in this post.

A Victory, but…

This sidebar once declared in its headline, “Success!”. And it was true at the time. After 4 long years of cajoling and discussion, the city of Sonoma had finally come to permit 2 walk-in retail cannabis dispensaries.

Unfortunately, though the first dispensary has been open for nearly a year and a half now, its owner, Erich Pearson of sparc, along with his Strategic Advisor and part owner of the Sonoma shop, Amy O’Gorman Jenkins, have been lobbying the city to stop the process for a second dispensary.

On September 8, 2021, Pearson told the city council that he had to close 2 shops in San Francisco because he “couldn’t pay the bills”, and he was facing a 1.2 million dollar rebuild. He did not, however, disclose that he was preparing to open a new dispensary and consumption lounge on Polk Street in San Francisco. Poor on the one hand, prosperous on the other?

The result was that the city council voted to support what amounts to a city-sponsored monopoly and that for the foreseeable future, Mr.Pearson will not face any competition that would provide medical patients with better prices, more product choices, and additional services.

Ms Jenkins, who runs her own lobbying firm, Precision Advocacy, and is also the Legislative Advocate for the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), is a native to Sonoma. Her ties to the local community afford her a unique position to influence local policy. She was a contributor to the campaigns of cannabis-friendly candidates in 2018 and 2021. Most recently, Ms. Lowe appointed Ms. Jenkins to the local Planning Commission.

Appearances are everything. Contributions can create avenues for corruption, either grand or petty. Cronyism and favors to rig a market are unacceptable.

Thanks

We thank everyone in this group and on our mailing list for their support, for signing the petition, for writing the letters and contributing to the discussions.

Thanks to Ken Brown and Jewel Mathieson for their years of advocacy for patients’ access to safe, legal medical cannabis. Their goal of  local access has finally been realized.

And thanks to our past city council allies Amy Harrington and Logan Harvey for leaning forward on this issue. They helped define Sonoma as a city of progressive values in Sonoma County.

In the meantime, the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group will continue to keep you informed on all the latest developments in 2023.

 

Best Regards,

The SVCG Team

Top Featured Posts

Please do not support the business of hate. The world is in a bad enough state without folks unknowingly patronizing businesses operated by those whom the press appears to have associated with prejudice and racism.

The following column was published in a recent edition of the Sonoma Sun.

I have chosen not to patronize Loe Dispensary or Lefever Mattson owned businesses. But, we each have to make our own choices and search our own consciences when making these choices. For me that choice is not to add to the financial enrichment of those who in my opinion are racist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ rights and anti-women’s rights.

2 local dispensary owners choose profit over principles

SVCG member Josette Brose-Eichar and I spoke during the Public Comment period at a recent Sonoma City Council meeting. Thanks to Perri Ellis Paniagua for emailing the council, as well. The key items put before the city council:

· Cannabis, Honesty and Equality – Erich Pearson, who owns the only dispensary in town, has thrown honesty aside in order to protect his own interests. He recently defamed our group in a city council meeting.

· According to The Press Democrat, another dispensary owner, John Loe, who recently opened a store outside the city limits, has stood before the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and vented hateful rhetoric.

· We need businesses that promote honesty and equality and we should *not* support businesses that don’t.

· We have sent a letter to Pearson’s capital investors, Emily Paxhia and Poseidon Asset Management, asking for a retraction of the libelous remarks he made about our group to the city council.

· We also authored a Position Paper regarding local control and the lack of retail outlets that has been signed by many cannabis organizations and companies.

Bottom line, we’ve got a ranting hater over here, an ethically-challenged operator over there, and stuck right in the middle is an electorate that overwhelmingly supported Prop64, imploring for better access.

Add a Comment

Retraction and Apology from sparc CEO Joseph Erich Pearson Necessary

Two responses from our Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group regarding the city council’s mishandling of the 2nd dispensary issue and the accusations made against us by sparc CEO Erich Pearson.

Thanks to Perri Ellis Paniagua for her letter. My rejoinder to Pearson’s false allegations is on that page, as well.

https://www.sonomanews.com/article/opinion/letter-to-the-index-tribune-editor-may-5-2023/

For private responses: SVCG@sonomavalleycannabisgroup.com

Archives

Racism and Cannabis?

Racism and Cannabis?

What follows is an e-mail one of our members sent to the Mayor and each Sonoma City Council member today. Our member was prompted to do so after listening to a recent Sonoma County Board of Supervisor's meeting that included an unprecedented string of racist rants via...

What if?

What if?

Let’s say Sonoma only allowed one grocery store and you were forced to choose between shopping at the very expensive Sonoma Market or driving to Napa or Santa Rosa for cheaper products, or for items not available at the local market. Would this be acceptable to you?...

Archives

Calendar

March 2024
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031