Hempstalk not yet permitted for downtown Portland

The past few years, Hempstalk has been held in Kelley Point Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Sept. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Sept. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Hempstalk, the festival celebrating all things pot, is coming to Portland’s Waterfront Park September 27. But right now, organizers don’t have a permit.

The past few years, Hempstalk has been held in the more isolated Kelley Point Park in North Portland, and the change of venue has been one reason the permitting has been slowed.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s Mark Ross said Hempstalk is being treated no differently when it comes to city approval than any other event, like Brew Fest and the Rose Festival.

“It’s the same as any event, whether it’s related to hemp or harmonicas,” Ross said. “It’s going to have a huge, comprehensive checklist of things they need to get done in advance to get the permit.”

Being downtown is different, too. The city wants 40 certified security officers on site at the bowl area, and they’re looking over an updated site map to ensure police, fire and parks department requirements are met.

“I know that Portland police are reviewing their security plan, making sure all the security guards they have plus some auxiliary ones are certified by the state, as they’ve agreed to,” Ross said.

Event organizer Peter Mott said he was hired by Hempstalk a few months ago to make sure the permitting process succeeds.

“Obviously, the first time back in the bowl area in many years, and all these things take a little bit of time,” Mott told KOIN 6 News. “It’s been slower and longer than we would have wished, but no fault of anybody. We’re getting there.”

Mott said he expects the event will be approved by sometime next week. Ross is also confident.

“Safe to say we’re optimistic we’re going to get everything we need from them, ” Ross said.

By the way, if you go to Hempstalk, cannabis consumption is not allowed.

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