Tell the Portland City Council to Postpone New Police Contract

The nation is watching and Portland needs to help lead the way. 

Police accountability and community relations are important issues facing our nation and Portland needs to be a part of the solution, not adding to the distrust and animosity that are too prevalent across our country. There are too many issues that need to be addressed through an open and transparentprocess before any contract is agreed upon. Additionally, it doesn’t make much sense for a police contract to be implemented before Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler takes office at the beginning of the year.

It isn’t just activists that are calling for a halt to this contract either. Portland Auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, and Independent Police Review Director, Constantin Severe, have publicly criticized the contract, stating that it “fails to address a number of issues related to police accountability that may undermine the public’s trust in the City’s ability to hold officers accountable.”

Law enforcement officers have a very tough and dangerous job and most officers are great people doing great work keeping all of us safe. However, Portland agreeing to a new contract under these circumstances, will only add to a disconnect that many members of the community feel, and it won’t make officers’ jobs any safer.

Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler has laid out a plan to improve police services in Portland. Wheeler’s common-sense solutions will improve the lives of police and the citizens of Portland. Ted Wheeler’s priorities need to be taken into account as a new contract is negotiated.

Portland is known as a progressive city that is on the leading edge of cannabis law, greater drug policy reform, sustainability, and many other issues. If this contract is implemented in its current form, it will be a step back for Portland at a time that the entire country is watching how our cities deal with important issues regarding police accountability. How the Portland City Council acts will have repercussions across the great state of Oregon and across our fine nation.

Let’s help lead the way.  

Please email the Portland City Council and urge them to hold off on agreeing to any police contract until Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler takes office.

We’ll be monitoring how the city proceeds and will keep our supporters informed.

Like, Follow, and Help Re-Elect Representative Ann Lininger

Oregon State Representative Ann Lininger has been one of the best, and most effective, state legislators, working to reduce criminal penalties, allow for the expungement of past offenses and implement sensible cannabis regulations while taking into account the needs of patients and small businesses. In fact, Rep. Lininger was one of our early “Moms for Measure 91,” helping educate voters about the benefits of ending cannabis prohibition before our historic victory at the ballot box.

The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is hosting a fundraiser for Representative Lininger on Tuesday, August 30th, and we wanted to help spread the word (please see the forwarded message below). Check outORCA’s website and Facebook page to learn more about this great organization.

Also, if you get a moment, “like” Representative Lininger on Facebook and give her a follow on Twitter. If you can’t make the ORCA fundraiser, you can contribute to Lininger directly here.


This month we will be doing something special for our meeting – it will double as a fundraiser for Representative Ann Lininger’s re-election campaign!

Rep. Lininger is one of the biggest advocates in the state legislature for sound cannabis business policy. It was her leadership last year as co-chair of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization that is responsible for so many of the strides we have made these past years since Measure 91’s passage. That’s why it’s so, so important that we help re-elect the folks that understand how this industry functions.

She will be joining us at our meeting to tell our members more about her campaign, and to answer questions about what the legislature may have in store in the 2017 session. This one is not to be missed. Join us!

ORCA August Meeting & Fundraiser for Rep. Ann Lininger
Tuesday, August 30th, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Lucky Lab Brewpub 
915 SE Hawthorne Ave, Portland OR
RSVP on our Facebook page!

Admission [Including for Members – it’s a Fundraiser!]: 
$20.00 Contribution

DEA Will Allow More Medical Cannabis Cultivation Sites, Keep Marijuana at Schedule I

The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a new policy this morning that many advocates have considered a mixed bag. The DEA announced that they would allow more universities to produce medical cannabis for research purposes, but that marijuana would ridiculously remain a Schedule I controlled substance (the same classification as heroin, deemed to not have any medicinal value). While many marijuana law reformers were hopeful that the federal government would reschedule marijuana down to a Schedule II substance, a classification that includes methamphetamine and cocaine, but a Schedule II classification wouldn’t have much of a benefit for the cannabis community and industry.

A Schedule II classification wouldn’t have made medical marijuana legal federally nor would it have fixed our nation’s ridiculous tax and banking laws that make state-regulated cannabis businesses difficult and dangerous to operate. There may be a symbolic victory in the federal government announcing that marijuana did indeed have medical value, there aren’t many practical benefits to the Schedule II classification.

The new policy of allowing more medical marijuana cultivation could eventually have a big impact on legalizing medical cannabis at the federal level. Research has been stymied by the fact that the only approved marijuana had to be produced at the federally-approved site at the University of Mississippi. With more medical marijuana available, more research can be conducted on more strains and for more conditions. As more research is done, more voters and politicians will realize the need to legalize medical marijuana across the nation, and eventually, end cannabis prohibition altogether.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, along with Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have issued statements lambasting the decision of the DEA to keep marijuana a Schedule I substance, and they are all doing amazing work helping lead the way towards a sensible cannabis policy. It was also great to see Oregon Governor Kate Brown decry the DEA’s nonsensical policy as well.

The fight to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances now moves to Congress where there just happens to be a bill that would declassify cannabis from the scheduled list, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders. Let’s get some co-sponsors of this common sense bill in the Senate, a companion piece in the House and work to convince Congress to end the failed and harmful war on cannabis.

Help the Portland City Council Admit It Wrapped Cannabis Businesses in Too Much Red Tape

Back on May 18th, we warned that the cannabis business regulations imposed in Portland were going too far. Since then, we have been joined by Congressman Earl Blumenauer and many others in calling for the Portland City Council to roll back burdensome, unnecessary regulations.

The Willamette Week has published an article detailing many of these harmful regulations. The alternative weekly listed five issues that are troubling businesses and we agree with these concerns.

1. Portland slams business owners with fees.
Retail shops applying for medical and recreational licenses from the city pay $975 in fees for each application, even though the forms are identical. They then pay $3,500 and $4,975 license fees annually. That’s on top of the license fees they pay to the state. No other Portland business faces these high fees. New bars, for example, pay $100 application fees and $35 annual renewal fees.

2. Portland imposes requirements that don’t apply to other businesses.
As a condition of their city licenses, pot businesses operating in commercial zones also have to obtain commercial building permits. Other businesses don’t automatically face this hurdle, says Ross Caron, a spokesman for the Bureau of Development Services.

3. Portland’s rules duplicate the state’s.
State officials, for example, ask shops for security plans. So does the city. The state requires owners to detail how they’ll keep minors from buying pot. Portland seeks similar plans, which also call for dealing with complaints from neighbors.

4. Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement gets things backward.
To apply for a state license to sell recreational pot, owners need what’s called a land-use compatibility statement from the city. To get that, owners must pay the $975 recreational marijuana application fee and the $4,975 license fee. That means they’re paying for a city license before knowing whether they’ll be approved. “It’s unclear what happens from there,” says Meghan Walstatter of Pure Green.

5. Portland prohibits activities that the state allows.
Portland voters overwhelmingly approved legalization, but city rules are more restrictive than state regulations. For example, Portland doesn’t allow pot delivery to homes even though the state does.

Please email the Portland City Council and urge them to remove these burdensome regulations and to treat cannabis businesses the same as any other business.,

We’ll be monitoring how the city proceeds and will keep our supporters informed. If you need similar action in your city, please email our executive director, Anthony Johnson, at If you are able, please contribute to our efforts to defeat bans and implement sound cannabis policies across the state.

Happy Anniversary Oregon

Happy One-Year Anniversary of Legal Cannabis, Oregon!

After one year of legalized marijuana, it is clear that Oregon voters got it right.

Millions of dollars have been added to the state’s coffers, thousands of jobs have been created and many lives have been improved.

Oregon can celebrate one year of legal marijuana, knowing that we have better prioritized law enforcement resources and raised revenue for important social services. The state has been an example for the rest of the country to follow as more and more voters and public officials understand that marijuana regulation is a much better policy than prohibition.

Thanks to over 56% of Oregon voters and all of New Approach Oregon’s supporters, we have made history and become national leaders in marijuana law reform. Cannabis commerce has reportedly created more than 2,000 jobs to go along with about $15 million in new tax revenue after just the first few months of taxed sales. Later in the fall, more marijuana products will be available to all adults over the age of 21, likely increasing the tax dollars being collected.

More important than tax dollars are the lives that have been improved due to legalization and its aftermath. We are proud to have helped lead the legislative efforts that reduced marijuana-related criminal penalties even further and allowed for the expungement of past marijuana offenses. More than 500 Oregonians have taken advantage of expunging old marijuana penalties from their records since Measure 91 passed in 2014

Oregon still needs to bring much of the state into the regulated system as too many localities have banned regulated marijuana sales. These bans hurt the statewide system and deny local residents much-needed jobs and tax dollars. Additionally, the state still needs to reduce more marijuana penalties; ensure that low-income patients have safe access to medicine; and allow social consumption locations for adults.

Medical marijuana fees and regulations remain too burdensome for many patients and some local and state regulations are restricting the ability of small business owners to thrive. We will continue working on these issues until Oregon has gotten it right, all across the state.

Clearly, the sky hasn’t fallen as Oregon has benefited from the new jobs and revenue. As the legalization experience continues to be positive, public officials across the state should remove barriers that exist for patients, farmers and businesses and bring more and more people into the regulated system.

If you are able to donate, to help us fulfill the will of the voters and continue to improve Oregon’s marijuana laws, please make a contribution.

There is much more work to be done, but today, Oregon can be proud of being a true trailblazer. Thank you all for helping move Oregon, and our nation, away from failed Drug War policies.

If you are looking for potential locations to acquire cannabis or cannabis-infused products, we have some recommendations, as the dispensaries below have proven to be good actors and have pledged a portion of proceeds towards New Approach Oregon, so we can continue fighting for effective marijuana laws that will work for patients, consumers, and all Oregonians.

In Portland:
Five Zero Trees
10209 SE Division St, Building B, Suite 100
5336 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway

GroHi Station
14812 Se Powell

1917 SE 7th Ave
2231 W Burnside St.

Rip City Remedies
3325 SE Division St

In Eugene:
The Greener Side
1553 Oak St

Cannabliss’ Sorority House
588 E. 11th

In Springfield:
Grateful Meds
1401A Market St

In Bend:
1199 NW Wall St

1814 NE Division St

In Talent:
Grateful Meds
630 Highway 99

In Hood River:
Gorge Greenery
13 Oak St.
Hood River, OR 97031

What’s Next

As the Oregon Legislature and Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) implements Measure 91, New Approach Oregon has been monitoring the process and working to protect what Oregonian’s voted for. Learn More