charlie hales

Oregon: Portland City Council Delays Vote On Marijuana Retailer Regulations

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Portland City Council on Wednesday delayed voting on new regulations for marijuana retailers due to concerns that the proposed rules could shut down existing businesses.

One dispensary owner told the Council that regulations intended to stop too many marijuana retailers from operating in close proximity could have unintended consequences, reports Brad Schmidt at The Oregonian. "The goal here is not put people out of business," said Mayor Charlie Hales.

City officials plan to issue marijuana retail licenses on a first-come, first-served basis, with the intent to level the playing field in what could quickly become a lucrative business. Officials hope to prevent marijuana stores from operating within 1,000 feet of each other.

If two shops are operating within 1,000 feet of each other, a new retailer could beat an established retailer in the application process, forcing the existing shop to shut down.

Officials now are considering exemptions that would allow case-by-case evaluations of siting issues; in some instances more than one pot shop may be allowed within 1,000 feet. Commissioner Nick Fish suggested this change, recommending something with a "clear legal standard."

Existing businesses could also be grandfathered in so that they could remain open.

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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