Emergency Ordinance

*Authorize grant agreements with three community partners to disperse funds for the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund for a total of $1,330,000


The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1.  The Council finds:

  1. In November 2016, City of Portland voters approved Ballot Measure 26-180 to impose a 3% local tax on retail cannabis sales.
  2. The revenue from the 3% local tax on retail cannabis sales is expected to be managed independently and would be dedicated to three specific areas, including “support for neighborhood small businesses, especially minority and women owned businesses,” and to “provide economic opportunity and education to communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.” 
  3. On July 22, 2020, Portland City Council approved a plan to distribute $114 million in federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) relief to the community. Federally, Cannabis is still illegal as it is classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, thus making Cannabis businesses ineligible for federal relief funding.
  4. Portland based Cannabis businesses continue to experience extreme financial impacts caused by increased vandalism and property damage due to the state of civil unrest as well as an alarming spike in armed robberies and burglaries of these cash-based businesses.
  5. Data obtained by OLCC indicates 185 Portland Cannabis businesses reported theft of product and/or money between March 2020 and October 2021. Some businesses being victimized more than once.  These thefts range from looting to armed robbery, some resulting in bodily injury, sexual assault, and even homicide.
  6. Oregon Wildfires have caused unprecedented devastation to the entire cannabis industry supply chain with significant uncertainty surrounding future outcomes and long-term sustainability, most notably with regards to insurance coverage and/or loss mitigation efforts.
  7. The City recognizes the need to provide Cannabis Industry employees emergency relief for workers economically impacted from Covid-19, vandalism, robberies, wildfire, and the residual effects of illness, trauma, and grief suffered from such impacts. 
  8.  On June 9, 2021, Council approved the City adopted budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 which includes a one-time allocation of $1,330,000 to support the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund (CERF).
  9.  Civic Life has determined the three recipients identified in Exhibit A are uniquely qualified to administer the Cannabis Emergency Relief Fund (CERF), which is further outlined in Exhibit A. These Community Partners will only be allowed to utilize funds to administer CERF and not for their own operating budgets. Community Partners will receive up to a 20% administrative fee that is for marketing, outreach, intake, processing, verification, payment, and reporting for CERF.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

  1. The Director of Civic Life is authorized to execute grant agreements based on the City’s standard agreement template attached as Exhibit B with the organizations listed in Exhibit A, upon the template having fully incorporated grant requirements in accordance with the grant program criteria, and upon approval as to form by the City Attorney. The grant agreements shall conform to the funding allocations listed in Exhibit A. The total amount of grant funding authorized by this ordinance shall not exceed $1,330,000. 

Section 2.  The Council declares that an emergency exists because Portland Cannabis businesses and Cannabis workers continue to suffer economic and emotional hardships from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, increased criminal activity, and wildfires; therefore, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage by the Council.

An ordinance when passed by the Council shall be signed by the Auditor. It shall be carefully filed and preserved in the custody of the Auditor (City Charter Chapter 2 Article 1 Section 2-122)

Passed by Council

Auditor of the City of Portland
Mary Hull Caballero

Impact Statement

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

Funding was allocated for this purpose in the FY 2021-22 Adopted Budget. 

Agenda Items


  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Requested Start Time
10:15 am
Time Requested
30 minutes
Confirmed Time Certain