Hempstalk has been a part of the Oregon marijuana scene since the very first Hempstalk in 2005. Whenever I go to events in other states, Hempstalk is usually the Oregon event that they are most familiar with that is dedicated entirely to cannabis. The Oregon Country fair is another one that comes up a lot, but that event is not geared towards cannabis, although it's very popular with cannabis consumers. The City of Portland has taken issue with previous Hempstalk events due to the open consumption of marijuana at the event. The consumption didn't cause any harm, but even in a city as liberal as Portland, Oregon, there was still some ruffled feathers.
It looked like the event may not happen again, but after a long appeal process the City of Portland has agreed to allow the event to happen. Per Oregon Live:
For the second time in as many years, the Portland City Council stuck its neck out for Hempstalk in a dispute with the parks bureau over a permit for a festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
The City Council voted 3-1 Thursday, overturning the Parks Bureau's decision to deny the event a 2015 permit. The Police Bureau also opposed granting the permit to Hempstalk, a free 11-year-old festival to celebrate and advocate the legalization of marijuana and hemp products.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who oversees the Parks Bureau, provided the lone dissenting vote.
The decision sets the stage for Hempstalk 2015 to occur at or around the same time as the first legal sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon, Oct. 1. It also represents a likely final opportunity for the festival to earn the trust of parks, police and political leaders.
When the event will actually take place seems to still be up in the air at this time. The City of Portland is stating that the event will take place on September 26-27, but the event's organizer, Paul Stanford, says that a date has not been set yet. I have never been to a Hempstalk event before, but I do plan on attending this one. I think that it's important for all of Oregon's cannabis community to come out, and more importantly, to celebrate responsibly, to show the City of Portland that cannabis events can and should occur. Portland is a beautiful city, and is home to the most underrated cannabis scene in the country in my opinion, so as an Oregonian I hope to see all cannabis events succeed there.