Storm damage recovery

2020 Cannabis Policy Report

Photo of the the famous White Stag Portland, Oregon sign
This report offers 7 recommendations for competency, equity, research, and sustainability for how City Council can create cannabis-related policies that address the social harms of cannabis prohibition and reinvest resources from the Recreational Cannabis Tax Fund in impacted communities.

The Cannabis Oversight Team (CPOT) is pleased to release the 2020 Cannabis Policy Report. Our 2021 goals and recommendations are centered in key findings in data transparency, management of the city’s cannabis tax revenue, ongoing racial disparities in traffic stops and use of force, and investments of the city’s time and resources to execute the recommendations contained in this report.

As we review 2020 in hindsight, so much has changed since we first convened in early 2019, both in our city and in the cannabis industry. We witnessed a global economic and public health crisis on the backdrop of major city, state, and federal elections. The entire country protested against racial injustices and police brutality. And, a historic federal cannabis legislation passed the US House of Representatives.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Kate Brown designated the cannabis industry as an essential business in Oregon and it continues to be one of the few remaining industries in the city with an active workforce providing vital relief to those suffering from the myriad of challenges presented in 2020. For that, we are all thankful.

All cannabis-related policy recommendations should be viewed through a total equity-building lens.

We advise the City of Portland on policies to deliver industry diversity, equity, accessibility, and sustainability for the city’s total benefit. Although stigmatized, this industry does not exist in isolation. As the leadership team of CPOT, we recognize the symbiosis between 1) the business owners, 2) the diverse and essential cannabis workforce and, 3) the countless cannabis patients and consumers residing within the city, many of which are within Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities. The resources provided by the cannabis industry to Portlanders extends well beyond the cannabis tax revenue.

The mural put up in front of the downtown Portland Apple store. The mural honors all the people killed this past year by police.
As we enter the final days of 2020, we realize much has changed since we first convened in early 2019, both in our community and cannabis industry.

Despite the cannabis industry’s growth in 2020, we still have many hurdles with many on the horizon. As the cannabis industry confronts these headwinds, Portland must continue to support initiatives that deliver the changes necessary in the cannabis industry, the city, and the community deserves. All of the work done by CPOT, now and in the future, will help to ensure the continued sustainability of the cannabis industry, both within the City of Portland and throughout the state.

CPOT is a strategic resource for the city and all interested parties to support those that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. As needed, CPOT will continue to educate, inform, and advise the city on policies that will ensure the legal cannabis industry is diverse, equitable, accessible, and sustainable in 2021 and beyond. This year has been tumultuous for all of us and we understand and feel the anxiety surrounding the uncertainty that plagues our communities. That is why, this year, we are so proud of the equity-centered work we have accomplished and are excited to share our thoughts on how the city can be a leader in creating equitable and sustainable policies that will benefit the entire community. We hope this report provides a clear understanding of the work performed in 2020 and the direction we were headed when we entered 2021.

You can read the full report here.