About Sonoma Patient Group, Santa Rosa Medical Cannabis Dispensary
History and Background
Sonoma Patient Group is a Medical Cannabis Dispensary located in Santa Rosa, California.
Established in 2008, we recognized early the importance of dispensing high quality, lab tested and SAFE medicine to our patients. Starting with our founder, all staff at SPG are medical marijuana patients. We have all found significant benefit from cannabis use—which was not to be found through the conventional medical establishment.
Knowing the confusion and frustration of facing serious medical conditions and needing medicine not approved by the wider society—and a marketplace with unpredictable standards—we understand first-hand the need to provide compassionate care, knowledgeable guidance and safe access to high quality medicinal marijuana.
Located in the heart of Sonoma County, we strive to provide a safe environment to learn about and select your medicine. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is highly trained—to insure the highest standards of care in the Cannabis industry—and ready to help you navigate the confusing world of medical cannabis.
Mission and Philosophy
At SPG, we are driven by a commitment to the highest standards of compassionate care—which includes the education and empowerment of our customers. Rather than a typical corporate mission statement, founder John Suggs offers our “Pyramid of Values” (above).
Sonoma Patient Group Management and Staff Profiles
John Sugg, Founder and SPG President
John has been a Cannabis Advocate since 1995, when he worked Washington State Hemp Initiative projects to legalize marijuana in that state. With Bachelor’s degrees in both Political Economics and Electrical Engineering, John first began working in the cannabis industry in 2001, when he managed the Aiko Dispensary in Santa Rosa on Fourth Street. Known for his extraordinary compassion, John initiated the practice of “Patients helping patients” as the guiding principle for the company.
1978 BA – Political Economics The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
1983 BSEE – Electrical Engineering University of Arkansas, Fayetteville AR
1980’s – Radio engineering, CADD, consulting for manufacturers.
1990’s – Technical writing and compositing for software companies including Microsoft, Oracle subsidiary that went public and web design company Organic.
1995-1996 Washington State Hemp Initiative Projects contributed to initiative text and collected signatures to legalize Cannabis in Washington State. Defeated on the ballot.
1999 – 2001 Attended protests and rallies in Sacramento and joined various dispensaries attended talks by Ed Rosenthal at Berkeley Patients Group. Continued to grow Cannabis.
2001 – 2002 Manager of Aiko dispensary in Santa Rosa on 4th street and then College Ave in Santa Rosa. Raided by the Feds.
2003 – present Permit holder for dispensary in Santa Rosa started on Montgomery Drive and then 2425 Cleveland Ave. Sonoma Patient Group gives back to the community with donations to local nonprofits, free food events, discounts for seniors, disabled and veterans, and compassion medicine for disabled low income.
2008 – present President and Manager of the Sonoma Patient Group, Inc.
Special thanks to my mentors Sean Pina and Lynette Shaw. I was also given inspiration “to do something local” from Debbie Goldsberry at the 1999 Amsterdam cannabis cup.
Julia “Jewel” Mathieson, Head Mgr, Board Member
With degrees in Psychology and Education from Sonoma State University, Jewel’s introduction to the cannabis industry came when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.
Having heard and then researched the benefits of cannabis as part of cancer treatment, Jewel was shocked to find dog-hair in one of the products she purchased.
This galvanized her interest in being an activist for medical cannabis and to speak at events and conferences.
She met John Sugg in 2008 and has been at the core of SPG ever since. Jewel is also an accomplished “Five Rhythms” teacher and published poet.
Leanne Nakashima, Marketing Mgr and SPG Budtender
Also educated at SSU, Leanne began her career in the cannabis industry as a grower and caregiver in 1995. She joined SPG in 2008 and has extensive experience in creating concentrate and edible preparations.
Leanne started and maintains a raw juicing Cannabis BLOG (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also writes a column for The IRIE Times. She is known for her extraordinary care, thoroughness, and knowledge in helping our clients find the exact formula to help them with their particular situation.
She also appreciates how all the SPG staff seem to operate as a family—with each having unique knowledge and background to help our customers with unique and evolving individual situations.
Nicole Williams, Shift Manager and SPG Buyer
A native of Santa Rosa, Nicole is a second-generation cannabis grower, in Sonoma County. She has experience beyond her years in cultivation as well as extensive concentrate and edible knowledge. Nicole first joined Sonoma Patient group in 2008 as a budtender and medical records specialist.
Nicole has firsthand experience with many aspects of the cannabis community. Being immersed in the cannabis culture since childhood, she is particularly passionate about promoting the use of cannabis as a treatment for many conditions.
Over the years, she has worked very closely with cannabis and has used her passion to help better the lives of many people.
Fred Ginn, Member, SPG Board of Directors
A fourth-generation native of Santa Rosa, Fred operates four paint stores in Santa Rosa and Sonoma.
His family vineyard has produced grapes with the dry farming method for more than 30 years.
Fred has grown cannabis since his youth.
His other interests including biking, surfing and motorcycle racing.
Fred’s band, The Smokin’ Volcanoes, has entertained at Sonoma Patient Group events through the years.