Cofounder, SPARC / age 38
Tall, well dressed, and handsome, you would never guess that Erich Pearson, cofounder of San Francisco Patient and Resource Center, SF’s coolest medical cannabis dispensary, not only grows sweet buds of Mary Jane but also was once tossed in the clink in connection with a plant-growing operation in Sonoma. “I was busted in Guerneville for growing pot,” says Pearson, “but it was for a good cause.” Pearson moved to SF from Greenwood, Indiana, in 1998, after the passage of Proposition 215, which decriminalized medical marijuana use.
But Pearson does more than just make the retail weed business look sleek. With a background in construction management, he works closely with the design and engineering of cultivation facilities, aka plant nurseries. He was a member of the now-defunct SF Medical Cannabis Task Force, which advised the city on its drug policies, and currently serves on the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
When Pearson isn’t helping San Franciscans get baked the legal way, you can find him dining at Frances, snowboarding in Tahoe or, most likely, cheering the Giants at AT&T Park. Of a certain magical day, he says, “Seeing [Matt] Cain’s perfect game will always be one of my life’s high points.”
Each October, we’re presented with the biggest quandary of the year: Narrowing down the Bay Area’s abundance of stellar luminaries to an exclusive selection of trailblazers for our annual Hot 20 list. After weeks of review and all-out debate among our editors, this year’s round-up comprises the most energizing influencers of our time. You’ll meet a pioneer of electric cars, a branding prophet, a major league all-star, and a Stanford dropout-turned-biotech virtuoso. Best of all, there’s more awesomeness where these came from. See them all here.
This article was published in 7x7's October 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.