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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT)

Read CPOT's 2019 Cannabis Policy Report!

CPOT 2020


CPOT provides the Office of Community & Civic Life with diverse stakeholder perspectives on cannabis-related public policies. It consists of cannabis industry representatives and others that possess an in-depth understanding of issues affecting and affected by the cannabis industry. The Body’s objective is to discuss and develop policies that support equitable access and outcomes for the cannabis industry, cannabis consumers, and all City of Portland residents.

On May 20, 2020, CPOT sent the following letter to City Council expressing their concern around the proposed changes to the use of the Recreational Marijuana Tax Fund outlined in the Mayor's FY 2020-21 budget:

Dear Mayor Wheeler and Portland City Commissioners,

We are writing today to express our concerns about the proposed budget changes to the use of the Recreational Marijuana Tax Fund (local cannabis tax revenue) outlined in the Mayor’s budget for FY 2020-21. As the City of Portland’s Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT), this advisory body is tasked with advising the City and engaging with Portlanders around cannabis policy. We find the distribution of our local cannabis tax revenue in the Mayor’s budget to be inconsistent with Portland voter’s intended use of the fund and out of alignment with Recommendations 1 & 2 of our 2019 Cannabis Policy Report: (1) Immediately improve the transparency in tax allocation decisions and outcomes; (2) Develop and adopt a comprehensive social equity framework- to ensure that cannabis policies exist within a framework that prioritizes restorative practices, reparative justice.

Our 2019 Annual Cannabis Policy Report emphasized the need for increased communication, community engagement, transparency, and accountability around the allocation and use of the City’s cannabis revenue. These characteristics are fundamental to restorative justice work. We were surprised to discover that the proposed budget continues to allocate the majority of cannabis funds to public safety and transportation safety despite a lack of post-legalization data to justify such a high allocation.   We were also disturbed by the potential shift of the entirety of the Cannabis Social Equity Grant Fund to other City programs. The process and decision-making around this year’s budget and allocation of the local cannabis revenue does not appear to address or acknowledge the advising that the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT), community partners, and many engaged Portlanders have provided over the past year. 

We support and applaud accountable reinvestment of these funds into City and community programs that are working to support resiliency through COVID-19, and to build wealth and power in communities who have been disproportionately impacted by enforcement of cannabis prohibition. For decades, Portlanders from our Black, Indigenous, and Communities of Color have been more likely to be arrested and convicted for cannabis-related offenses than other Portlanders. The ripple effect of an arrest, even for simple possession, was often devastating for these individuals and their families. Now that the City is profiting from the legal sale of cannabis, we have a responsibility to reinvest the funds towards repairing harm in impacted communities. 

In Fiscal Year 2020-21, the available local cannabis tax revenue is estimated to be close to $7 million dollars. Portland is entering its 4th year of reinvestment of cannabis tax revenue. How have the funds been used to repair and restore justice? What are the expectations, purpose and measures of accountability put on the Bureaus, programs and community organizations that receive these funds? How are the decisions around allocation of this revenue made? Council’s budget work session on March 9, 2020, and this year’s proposed budget document have done little to highlight or address these important questions. Additionally, the processes and documents related to the budget must be more accessible and support diverse methods of civic engagement. 

Ballot Measure 26-180 provided a foundation for allocation of this fund but lacks the direction needed to prevent misinterpretation and ensure targeted reinvestment. A comprehensive social equity framework and cannabis tax steering committee are needed to ensure allocation and use of funds remain aligned with the spirit and intent of the measure and restorative justice. 

The cannabis industry in Portland has been deemed essential and sales remain strong. Cannabis will continue to be a valuable source of tax revenue (including revenue generated by business and payroll taxes) while our economy and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor’s proposed budget states, “Even while we reduce budgets, we must be thinking about the City we want to become.” We look forward to learning more about the City’s Equity Tool and the plans to increase the Bureaus’ accountability to outcomes. We urge Portland City Council to review our 2019 Cannabis Policy Report and consider allocating funds to create, empower and support a cannabis tax steering committee and process to develop a comprehensive framework for reinvestment of the City’s cannabis tax revenue.

Should Council want to discuss the contents of this letter further, please do not hesitate to reach out.


The Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT) for the Cannabis Program, City of Portland

Al Ochosa (Chair) 

Stephanie Neil (Vice-Chair) 

John Monteleone III (Vice-Chair)

Dr. Rachel Knox

Dr. Nicole Bowles

Madeline Martinez

Danny Rowland

Laura Valden-Vega

Tim Zimmerman


Link to CPOT's March 24, 2020 COVID Response letter here>>

Link to CPOT's May 20, 2020 FY 2020-21 Budget Advocacy letter >>

Link to CPOT's June 10, 2020 FY 2020-21 Divestment & Reinvestment Advocacy letter >>

Link to full description of the CPOT advisory body


2020 CPOT Meeting Dates (2nd Thursday of month; TENTATIVE)


Agendas & Materials

Meeting Audio

Meeting Minutes

 Jan. 9, 2020

 Jan. 9, 2020 Meeting Agenda and Materials

  Jan. 9, 2020 CPOT Audio

  Jan. 9, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

Feb. 13th, 2020 

(Meeting at East Portland Community Center) 

Feb. 13th, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

Feb. 13th, 2020 CPOT Audio

Feb. 13th, 2020 CPOT Group Discussion Audio 

 Feb. 13th, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

March 5, 2020*


March 23, 2020 (Special)

March 27, 2020 (Special)

 March 5th, 2020 Meeting Agenda

March 23, 2020 Meeting Agenda

March 27, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

 March 5th, 2020 CPOT Audio

 March 23, 2020 CPOT Audio

 March 5, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

March  23, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

March 27,2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

April 9, 2020-Canceled  due to COVID-19, State of Emergency 




May 14, 2020

 May 14, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 May 14, 2020-No Audio File

 May 14, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

May 20, 2020 (Special Session)

May 20, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

 May 20, 2020-No Audio File 

 May 20, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

June 9, 2020 (Competency Subcommittee Session) 

 June 9, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

 June 9, 2020-No Audio File 

 June 9, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

June 11, 2020

 June 11, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 June 11, 2020-No Audio File

 June 11, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

June 25, 2020

 June 25, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 June 25, 2020- No Audio File

 June 25, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

 July 8, 2020 (Competency Subcommittee Session) 

 July 8, 2020 Meeting Agenda and Materials

 July 8, 2020-No Audio File

 July 8, 2020  Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

July 9, 2020

 July 9, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 July 9, 2020- No Audio File

 July 9, 2020 Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

July 23, 2020

 July 23, 2020  Meeting Agenda and Materials 

 July 23, 2020-No Audio File

 July 23, 2020 Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

August 13, 2020

 August 13, 2020 Meeting Agenda and Materials 

Aug. 13, 2020-No Audio File

 Aug.13, 2020 Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

August 27, 2020

August 27, 2020 Agenda 

2020-21 CPOT Calendar 

CPOT's Additional Documents 

 Aug. 27, 2020-No Audio File 

 Aug. 27, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

Sept. 10, 2020

 Sept. 10, 2020 Agenda 

 Sept. 10, 2020-No Audio File

 Sept. 10, 2020 Meeting Minutes (DRAFT)

 Sept. 24, 2020

 Sept. 24, 2020 Agenda

CPOT Quarterly Calendar 




Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT) Roster



Nicole Bowles HeadshotNicole Bowles, PhD – Research Assistant Professor, OHSU

Dr. Bowles graduated with her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University and went on to earn a master's in clinical epidemiology from Weill Cornell Medical College as a Health Disparities and Community Engagement Research Fellow. Broadly her research focuses on the interplay between stress, endogenous circadian rhythms, and cannabinoid signaling in humans.





Dr. Rachel Knox Headshot

Dr. Rachel Knox – Chair, Oregon Cannabis Commission

Dr. Rachel Knox, MD, MBA is an Endocannabinologist and Cannabinoid Medicine Specialist who co-founded the American Cannabinoid Clinics and ADVENT Academy. She currently serves as Chair for the Oregon Cannabis Commission and Medical Chair for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.






Katherine Krajnak HeadshotKatherine Krajnak – Project Manager, Prosper Portland

As an entrepreneurship project manager at Prosper Portland, Katherine co-manages and facilitates the Inclusive Business Resource Network (IBRN), a $3M portfolio of 16 service providers and resources dedicated to building an inclusive business environment in Portland. Katherine also manages the City-funded contract with Nu Leaf Project, which uses City of Portland cannabis tax revenues to provide technical assistance and grants to entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis business.





Madeline Martinez HeadshotMadeline Martinez – Owner & Founder, World Cannabis Café

Madeline Martinez is a board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and co-founder and chair of the NORML Women’s Alliance. In 2009, Martinez opened the first private cannabis consumption lounge in Portland, Oregon USA, the World-Famous Cannabis Café.






John Monteleone HeadshotJohn Monteleone – Co-Founder, Fidus Family Farms

Fidus Family Farms transitioned from licensed production and sales through Oregon’s Medical Marijuana program to Oregon’s recreational cannabis program. John developed and leads Fidus in its organic, sustainable, small batch craft cannabis production and sales. Fidus Family Farms and Fidus PDX operates within the City of Portland. 





Stephanie Neil HeadshotStephanie Neil – Shift Lead, Groundworks Industries 

In 2016, after successfully publishing a video interview about the restrictive banking laws the legal Oregon cannabis industry faces with Senator Merkley, Representative Earl Blumenauer, and Tyson Haworth in The Huffington Post, OregonLive, and Time, Stephanie Neil joined Oregon’s Finest, one of the first medical and recreational retail dispensaries in Portland. Stephanie became their Sustainability Coordinator in 2017, Store Manager in 2018, and Compliance and Sustainability Manager in 2019. With over 20 years of management experience in craft hospitality industries, she has excelled at leadership, business administration, HR, compliance, and sustainability initiatives. In 2020, Stephanie proudly joined Groundworks Industries as a Shift Lead at Electric Lettuce on NE Weidler.






Al Ochosa HeadshotAl Ochosa – Director of Licensing & Corporate Relations, Cura Cannabis Solutions

Al began his career with Cura in 2015 as the Director of Retail Operations, and now serves as Director of Licensing & Corporate Relations in 2016, overseeing the Company's licensing and permitting needs in multiple jurisdictions, among directing the Company's regulatory and governmental affairs, among other duties. Al has also volunteered for the Minority Cannabis Cabinet and Cannabis Tax Allocation Steering Committee in the City of Portland. Other affiliations: Oregon Entrepreneur Network (Cannabis Leadership Team)





Danny Rowland HeadshotDaniel Rowland – Director of Operations, Fleschner Construction

Daniel is the Director of Operations for Fleschner Construction. Fleschner Construction has been an industry partner since 2014 delivering High Quality Project Management and support to Cannabis business owners. Daniel has been working with code authorities, cannabis clients and vendors to deliver dispensaries, extraction laboratories, greenhouses, and indoor grow facilities in the greater Portland Metro area. 





Laura Valden-Vega HeadshotLaura Valden-Vega – Co-Owner, Green State of Mind

Laura is the co-owner and operator of Green State of Mind, a national media award winning cannabis company that was started in Portland in 2014. They received their recreational license in 2017 and the company has since expanded into multiple markets, collaborated with premiere industry brands and consulted on business viability and brand creation. Laura has a law degree from George Washington University and sits on the board of NuLeaf, a Portland non-profit providing funding and entrepreneurial up-skilling for cannabis businesses owned by people of color. 





Tim Zimmerman HeadshotTim Zimmerman – Co-Owner, Indoor Cultivation Systems

Tim co-owns both Indoor Cultivation Systems is a Portland cannabis production facility in the heart of the city, and Discovery Cannabis on the Oregon Coast. Tim participated as a producer in the Oregon Medical Marijuana program prior to transitioning to producing recreational cannabis. Tim was a founding member of the Oregon Cannabis Association and served on their Board of Directors, and volunteers with several organizations around Portland. His goal is to use his expertise to help facilitate access for grassroots entrepreneurs to participate in the cannabis industry.




CPOT recruitment will be opening soon!

We are seeking 2 new members. Link to Civic Life's advisory group application will be posted here.   



Please contact Kimie Ueoka, Coordinator II for the Cannabis Program, at 503-823-9333 or

Click here for 2016-2019 CPOT Archives