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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.

*Please Note: Due to COVID-19 CPOT Meetings are held virtually twice a month from 6-7PM. 

To join in please call: 877-853-5257 (Toll Free)

Meeting ID# 987 1598 9686

On Oct. 12, 2020, CPOT sent the following letter to City Council expressing their concern around the recent Wildfires, civic unrest, and the significant amount of  cannabis businesses robberies. CPOT proposed to deliver emergency financial relief to qualified Portland cannabis businesses experiencing uninsurable losses from thefts and/or wildfires.


Dear Mayor Wheeler and Portland City Commissioners,

Considering the impact of our City’s triple emergency climate, inclusive of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing civil unrest and more recent wildfires, today we write you to make three critical requests:

  1. Leverage excess adult-use cannabis tax revenue, above the 4% annual growth forecast, to provide a one-time allocation during Fall BMP Budget Council Sessions to deliver emergency financial relief to qualified Portland cannabis businesses experiencing uninsurable losses from thefts and/or wildfires in 2020;

  2. Redirect all future forecast overages in the Adult-use Cannabis Tax Fund to the Social Equity and Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives to develop an ongoing Emergency Relief Fund for qualified Portland cannabis businesses starting in the FY 2021-22 budget; and

  3. Support state-level efforts to advocate for economic relief to all qualified Oregon cannabis businesses experiencing uninsurable losses by the wildfires, through a Council letter to Governor Kate Brown’s office.

As a cash-based business, the Portland cannabis industry is experiencing two to three times the typical rate of armed robberies and break-ins during the last four months, in addition to other property damages and financial impacts caused by the civil unrest in our city. The OLCC data shows that this trend spike beginning in June 2020 has been specific to Multnomah County. There have been at least 153 licensees reporting a theft of product or money in Oregon as of September 4, 2020 and 68% of the thefts occurred in Multnomah County. (See attached graph) On top of the ongoing COVID-19 business restrictions and the targeted burglaries facing Portland’s cannabis industry, the recent 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.

Portland licensees are not immune to the impacts affecting other parts of the state, as the whole cannabis industry is one ecosystem. Delayed or ruined harvests, impacted product quality from smoke damage, product loss, and supply shortages combined with future price increases for product with limited availability are expected to have a devastating financial impact on Portland producers, processors, distributers, and retailers. The City of Portland forecasted only 4% market growth for the adult-use cannabis industry in the five-year forecast, but remarkably Oregon cannabis sales revenue stands at $727 million, 41% ahead of 2019. Surging pandemic sales drove three straight months of record-breaking revenue, bringing the state’s FY 2020 tax revenue total to more than $133.1 million. Using the excess tax revenue as compared to forecast, CPOT respectfully requests a temporary allocation during Fall BMP Budget Council Sessions to provide much-needed financial relief for qualified Portland cannabis businesses who have experienced uninsurable losses from increased criminal activity and wildfires. We believe this is necessary for the sustainability of Portland’s cannabis industry and any future cannabis tax revenue.

Next, starting in the upcoming FY 2021-22 budget sessions, CPOT respectfully requests future forecast overages in Adult-use Cannabis Tax Fund to be allocated to the SEED Initiatives to develop an ongoing Emergency Relief Fund for qualified Portland cannabis businesses. During this time of multiple emergencies, not only were cannabis businesses not eligible to apply for any CARES Act resources, under normal circumstances these businesses remain ineligible for federal disaster relief or loans. As climate change has increased the frequency, severity, and proximity of the Oregon wildfires, we ask Council to have foresight in order to be prepared for future emergencies. Until there are federal protections for state-legal marijuana businesses, a Council decision to annually allocate funds in excess of the CBO forecast would support the continued growth and long-term sustainability of the cannabis industry. Subsequently, this also ensures there will be future Adult-use Cannabis Tax Funds that the City will benefit from.

Finally, the extent of the wildfire damage to the supply chain is even more extreme outside the City of Portland. The OLCC currently reports that at least 20% of Oregon’s cannabis licensees received evacuation orders, and 33% of their survey respondents were in the wildfire burn zone. The OLCC reports that seven licensees reported total crop loss/damage, 12 reported partial loss/damage, and for at least 15 businesses the loss/damage is unknown. In addition to the financial devastation these businesses have experienced, it is predicted that there will be massive impacts to the entire Oregon cannabis supply chain. As most farms harvest in the month of October, there will be considerable risk to additional financial losses beyond the immediate wildfire damage, including but not limited to: power and generator failures; cooler temperatures from loss of power and/or smoke and ash; an inability to control lights and water; and delayed harvests. This is all happening during a period when market prices are typically set for the year. To ensure the sustainability of the entire Oregon industry, CPOT requests that the City Council advocate via written support for state-level efforts to provide emergency economic relief to Oregon’s marijuana businesses who experienced uninsurable losses due to the 2020 wildfires.

 Actions Portland must take now, and in the first quarter of 2021:

  1. During Fall BMP sessions, provide a one-time allocation from the Adult-Use Cannabis Tax Fund to offer emergency financial relief to qualified small cannabis businesses in the City of Portland, specifically those experiencing uninsurable losses from thefts and/or wildfires in 2020.
  2. Starting with the budget sessions for FY 2021-22 and ongoing, redirect forecast overages in the Adult-use Cannabis Tax Fund to establish the SEED Emergency Relief Fund for qualified state-legal marijuana businesses in the City of Portland, particularly in the absence of product insurance, federal relief and/or support.
  3. Immediately, begin state-level communication advocating for the creation of a viable economic relief plan for Oregon’s marijuana businesses experiencing uninsurable losses by writing a letter of support to Governor Kate Brown’s office pushing for, but not limited to:
  •  a) Use of state-wide cannabis tax revenue in excess to the 2019-20 forecast to create an Oregon state cannabis emergency relief fund from the money allocated to cities/counties.
  •  b) Support for the Small Business Disaster Relief Equity Act, introduced on September 24, 2020 by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio, which would ensure state-legal cannabis businesses can qualify for disaster recovery programs like any other businesses. 

During the online event “History of Police Reform: A Conversation with Veteran Advocates”, Commissioner Hardesty acknowledged that despite the many hours committed to making recommendations, the City’s advisory bodies often feel that nobody actively listens to their advice or circles back for additional conversations. We would like to change that perception. We strongly urge Portland’s City Council to take actions in upcoming budget decisions to respond to the current emergencies impacting the cannabis industry, to advocate for state-level support for all cannabis businesses, and to leverage the Office of Community & Civic Life’s newly developed Social Equity & Educational Development (SEED) Initiatives in the future management of the Adult-use Cannabis Tax Fund.

We are happy to welcome our new City Council Commissioners, Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan to the conversation. And, we look forward to future discussions about the City’s strategy for supporting a transparent adult-use cannabis tax framework, the sustainability of the cannabis industry, and our reinvestment into our BIPOC communities. To that end, CPOT Leadership and selected members of the cannabis business community will be available to discuss the contents of this letter further during the earliest available upcoming Council meeting.


The Cannabis Policy Oversight Team (CPOT) for the Office of Community & Civic Life

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 (FINAL)

June 9, 2020 (Competency Subcommittee Session) 

 June 9, 2020 Meeting Agenda 

 June 9, 2020-No Audio File 

 June 9, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

June 11, 2020

 June 11, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 June 11, 2020-No Audio File

 June 11, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

June 25, 2020

 June 25, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 June 25, 2020- No Audio File

June 25, 2020 CPOT Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

 July 8, 2020 (Competency Subcommittee Session) 

 July 8, 2020 Meeting Agenda and Materials

 July 8, 2020-No Audio File

 July 8, 2020  Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

July 9, 2020

 July 9, 2020 Meeting Agenda

 July 9, 2020- No Audio File

 July 9, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

July 23, 2020

 July 23, 2020  Meeting Agenda and Materials 

 July 23, 2020-No Audio File

 July 23, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

August 13, 2020

 August 13, 2020 Meeting Agenda and Materials 

Aug. 13, 2020-No Audio File

 Aug.13, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

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 (FINAL)

 Sept. 24, 2020

 Sept. 24, 2020 Agenda

CPOT Quarterly Calendar 

 Sept. 24, 2020-No Audio File

 Sept. 24, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

October 8, 2020

 Oct. 8, 2020 Agenda

CPOT Quarterly Calendar 

 Oct. 8, 2020-No Audio File

 Oct. 8, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL)

October 22, 2020

Oct. 22, 2020 Agenda 

Oct. 22, 2020 Calendar 


 Oct. 22,2020-No Audio File 

 Oct. 22, 2020 Meeting Minutes (FINAL) 

November 5, 2020

Nov. 5, 2020 Agenda 

Nov. 5, 2020 CPOT Calendar 


November 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020 Agenda and Meeting Materials 


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 –  Director of Photography, High Vision Arts

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from California State University, Fresno. She has thrived in commercial advertising, digital media, and film production for over a decade. In 2016, after successfully publishing an interview with Senator Merkley, Representative Earl Blumenauer, and Tyson Haworth in The Huffington Post, OregonLive, and Time, Stephanie joined Oregon’s Finest as Compliance & Sustainability Manager. With over 20 years of management experience in craft hospitality industries, she has excelled at leadership, business administration, HR, compliance, and sustainability initiatives. Stephanie is a member of the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association’s Social Justice and Racial Equity Committee.




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