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Oregon: Portland Approves 2015 Hempstalk Festival

PaulStanfordAndPortlandMayorCharlieHales[TheOregonian]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Hempstalk 2015 is on! The Portland City Council on Thursday voted to grant Hempstalk a permit for its 2015 festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park downtown. "We will have our Hempstalk festival," said organizer Paul Stanford.

The Council, on a 3-1 vote, overturned the Portland Parks Bureau's earlier decision to deny the permit, reports Andrew Theen at The Orergonian. The Police Bureau also opposed Hempstalk, a free 11-year-old festival which celebrates and advocates the legalization of marijuana and industrial hemp.

The lone "no" vote came from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the Parks Bureau.

The decision means Hempstalk 2015 could occur around the same time as the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon, on October 1. "If I had my preference, it would be the first weekend of October," said Hempstalk organizer Stanford of the Campaign of the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

Parks officials, meanwhile, claimed the event is set for September 26 and 27. Stanford said he had "no idea" where they got that date.

"It sounds like this event was imperfect," said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales on Thursday. "It sounds like there were some people smoking marijuana there." But Mayor Hales added that most large events in Portland are imperfect.

Oregon: Hempstalk Festival 'Will Never Surrender;' Stanford Appeals Permit Denial Again

PaulStanfordHempstalk

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

"We will never surrender." That is the message Paul Stanford, organizer of the annual Hempstalk festival, has for the Portland City Council.

Portland parks officials last November denied a permit to Hempstalk for its 2015 waterfront event, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian. The free cannabis and hemp festival celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

Stanford and his supporters will be back in three weeks for another appeal hearing before the Portland City Council. The conflict dates back at least to 2013 when parks and police officials claimed festival organizers had a "demonstrated inability" to control pot use and behavior at prior festivals.

"Any appeal of a parks permitting decision making its way to a City Council hearing is unusual, but two hearings in consecutive years is downright peculiar," wrote The Oregonian's Theen.

City officials, almost certainly not coincidentally, mailed the denial notice just one day after Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana sales. It was the second denial for Stanford in two years.

The dispute, as in past years, enters on the public consumption of marijuana at the festival.

Stanford said last year that Hempstalk would be "the only place in Portland where marijuana wasn't consumed on that day."

Oregon: Portland Hempstalk Festival Already Denied Permit For 2015

JuliaRose,SteveElliott,JerryHaskins,Hempstalk2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When this reporter attended September's Hempstalk Festival in Portland, I saw a well-organized, orderly event, where plenty of information about the cannabis hemp plant and its many uses was disseminated by activists and speakers, along with bands, vendors, and bounteous opportunities for people-watching. What I did not see -- and I attended the entire two-day festival -- was people smoking or selling weed inside the event.

Portland parks officials, who seemed to have attended an entirely different event, waited only a day after Oregon's historic vote to legalize marijuana under Measure 91 to mail a letter to Hempstalk organizer Paul Stanford, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian.. It wasn't a nice congratulatory note, either -- it was a firm denial of his request to hold next year's Hempstalk Festival at Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park, or any other public property, next year.

"The passage of ballot measure 91 makes no difference in the City's decision," reads a prissy statement from Parks Bureau customer service center manager Shawn Rogers. The denial "stems only from the inability of organizers to manage the event in accordance with the necessary conditions clearly outlined and revisited on multiple occasions."

City officials claim attendees smoked marijuana at the event -- but again, I was there the entire time, and I never saw a single joint torched, even backstage.

Oregon: Still No Green Light For Hempstalk Festival With Just 3 Weeks To Go

Hempstalk2014

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Organizer Paul Stanford, who owns Hemp News and directs the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), still expects the two-day Hempstalk festival to occur in downtown Portland, but the free event is still waiting for a city permit, with just three weeks to go.

It's been eight months now since Portland Mayor Charlie Hales directed city staff to try and find a way to accommodate the festival, which advocates the legalization of marijuana and hemp for all uses, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian.

"It's outrageous," Stanford said on Friday from Spain, where he's speaking at an international cannabis festival. "They're yanking us around," he said of the city's handling of Hempstalk's permit.

Hempstalk Festival is marking its 10th anniversary this year, and Stanford has planned a downtown showcase for the event. Musical acts including Lukas Nelson (Willie's son) are slated to perform, and the event, scheduled for September 27 and 28, has been extensively promoted.

Portland city officials initially denied Stanford's application for an event permit back in December, claiming past Hempstalks at Kelley Point Park in Northy Portland have featured lax security and marijuana use.

Oregon: Portland Mayor Wants Hempstalk Festival at Waterfront Park

PaulStanfordHempstalk

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Portland City Council on Thursday told the city's Parks & Recreation Bureau, which denied Hempstalk Festival a permit for Tom McCall Waterfront Park, to negotiate with the festival's organizers in order to find a place and time for the event in the park. After more than two hours of testimony, during which the Mayor went to bat for the event, they left the door open for the pro-cannabis group to hold its 2014 gathering on the waterfront.

"It seems to me that the place it ought to take place is Waterfront Park -- if the event is manageable," said Mayor Charlie Hales, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian.

Thursday's hearing was the first time city parks officials could remember an appeal of a permit ruling going before the City Council. The Parks Bureau usually doesn't deny permits for events it has approved in previous years.

Hempstalk 2014 would be the 10th annual event, which has been held at several locations in the Portland area over the years, including at Waterfront Park in 2005 and 2006.

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