Just ask Paul Stanford, presenter of Hempstalk, who famously described his Waterfront Park festival last year as “the only place in Portland where people aren’t smoking cannabis.” Although Stanford and most of his guest speakers repeatedly told attendees at that event that smoking wasn’t allowed at the event, Portland police still gave organizers a hard time on the issue.
But the Oregon Cannabis Association, a group unaffiliated with Stanford, seems to have found a way to host a “summer fair” where members of the public can take home free samples, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.
The Summer Fair, which is set to feature dozens of Oregon marijuana growers and processors, will be held Sunday, July 24, at the North Warehouse in Portland: 723 N. Tillamook Street, Portland, OR 97227, from 11 am until 6 pm.“The Summer Fair is a fun and festive place to come together to celebrate the incredible bounty of Oregon cannabis, enjoy samples from our best craft growers, processors and edible makers while reveling in traditional fair food, games and crafts! Tickets are free but you need one. 21 and older only,” we learn from the event website. The Eventbrite page lists the event as “Sold Out.” The Oregon Cannabis Association describes itself as “the only statewide organization devoted to protecting and promoting the interests of Oregon’s cannabis business community at the local, state and federal level.”
Attorney Amy Margolis of Portland, who is with the cannabis association, said the fair is meant to showcase Oregon’s marijuana industry and give the public a chance to learn more about the products sold in dispensaries.
“It’s a way to meet new people who are interested in this market,” she said.
According to Margolis, the Fair was able to get around the city’s rules by not charging admission to the event.
Portland officials have said they’ll crack down on events that allow marijuana consumption, or hand out samples, where people have paid admission. The city views paying to get in an event where cannabis is given away as similar to buying pot, and only state-licensed marijuana businesses are allowed to do that.Public marijuana consumption is also against the law, so people who get free samples at the Summer Fair won’t be allowed to smoke or vape it on the spot.
The city has advised Fair organizers to check photo ID of attendees, as well as hire “enough security to monitor the perimeter to make sure no one is entering other than by the established entrance and exit,” according to Portland marijuana program coordinator Victor Salinas.
Salinas said city compliance officers “may” visit the Fair to ensure all the rules are being followed. Those officers are paid with cannabis licensing fees.
Organizers or promoters of events which violate city rules — as well as property owners where the events are held — can be fined as much as $5,000, according to Portland officials.
“In one week www.thesummerfair.com is happening,” Margolis posted on Facebook Thursday. “We have more than FIFTY booths at this event (totally sold out!) and we have almost 100% moved all of the tickets.
“That means that next Sunday more than 1500 people will eat amazing fair food, have some great craft beer, play some games, check out some art and sample the best cannabis Oregon has to offer,” Margolis posted. “All in a 100% compliant environment (which has not been easy but we have gone out of our way).”