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Why It May Be A Very Long Time Until The High Times Cannabis Cup Comes To Oregon

portland oregon medical marijuana dispensary collective deliveryAlmost exactly a year ago I posted an article openly begging High Times to bring their Cannabis Cup event to Portland, Oregon. It took awhile, but by the end of 2014 High Times announced its intention of doing exactly that. The announcement came shortly after Oregon voted to legalize recreational marijuana. That prompted a followup article which was one of the most joyous articles I’ve ever posted on this blog. For a brief time I was very, very excited. However, as I stated in my original article, finding a suitable location in or around Portland for that type of event was going to to be difficult, which has proven to be the case.

Most people in Oregon have never been to a cannabis cup, and have only been to the typical Oregon events. No offense to the usual Oregon cannabis events, but Oregon has never seen anything like a High Times Cannabis Cup. I have been to Cannabis Cups in Colorado and several locations in California, and I can honestly say that it’s like nothing I’ve ever been to in Oregon, and it’s not even a contest. Whereas Oregon events are lucky to break the 1,000 attendance mark, Cannabis Cups draw tens of thousands of people every time.

Cannabis Cups require a large stage for world class music acts, indoor facilities for booths and VIP areas, as well as outdoor areas for people to congregate. Venues that can accommodate an event like that are all over California, Colorado, Seattle, Michigan, etc. But they are vary rare in Portland, and in Oregon in general. Those places that do meet the criteria are virtually off limits to marijuana events due to Oregon alcohol permit rules. Per Oregon Live:

The issue: the Oregon Liquor Control Commission won’t allow cannabis consumption at venues that hold liquor licenses. The policy, which the agency spelled out in a recent letter to all liquor license holders in the state, means bars, restaurants and any other venue authorized to serve alcohol can’t allow marijuana consumption in their establishments.

“We have made the decision that any place with a liquor license is public and there is no consumption of marijuana at public places so allowing people to consume marijuana at a place that has a liquor license puts the liquor license in jeopardy,” said Tom Towslee, a spokesman for the liquor control commission.

Establishments that violate the policy can face administrative sanctions, according to the July 3 letter the agency sent to license holders.

“They are going to have to make a choice between allowing someone to smoke marijuana on their premises and how great they value their liquor license,” said Towslee.

I don’t see the OLCC changing their policies anytime soon, so any venue that hosts the Cannabis Cup will need to be a location that doesn’t have a liquor license. That basically means that the only way that the Cannabis Cup comes to Oregon anytime soon is if a privately owned property owner allows it to happen on their property, and their property has to fit all of the criteria in order to have a Cannabis Cup held there. Is it possible that such a location could be located? Sure. Do I think it’s going to happen anytime soon? Sadly, no. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

If you happen to own a piece of property that is suitable for a Cannabis Cup, I strongly urge you to contact High Times. Anything short of that and it looks like Oregonians will have to continue to travel to other states to participate in Cannabis Cups. Sad face. Sad face indeed.

  • briteleaf

    Not understanding why it is impossible to have a cup in a location where alcohol is NOT sold?

    • Sarijuana

      Even if there is no alcohol at the event, if the venue is licensed to sell, it can’t hold the event. Makes no difference whether there is alcohol at the event or not. Most of the venues large enough to hold such an event have a license to sell alcohol and would be non-compliant if they held a cannabis event that allowed consumption on the premises.

      • Bongstar420

        Why can’t there be events that don’t serve alcohol?

        • Sarijuana

          There can be cannabis events that don’t serve alcohol, just not at a place that has a license to serve alcohol.

  • Sarijuana

    Oregon Country Fair Grounds! Seems like a perfect fit.

    • Bongstar420

      They sell booze

      • Sarijuana

        Yes they do, but I believe they are only licensed to sell it during the fair. At another time of year another license would have to be obtained…or not.

  • Old Soul

    Why is alcohol a concern? I’d rather it not be an issue as it distracts from the cannabis.

    • Bongstar420

      Because it is a mainstream, establishment ran operation…the cannabis itself isn’t very profitable and most people aren’t even that interested in just cannabis.

  • stellarvoyager

    Is Horning’s Hideout still putting on events?

  • Joe

    Another reason why the OLCC is b.s. and needs to be abolished. Oregonians should END THE OLCC ASAP.

    • Bongstar420

      Why can’t it be cannabis only? Why does there need to be all this non-cannabis stuff wasting my time?

  • Haf Gaemer

    I knew having a HTCC right here in Portland was to good to be true. *sad face*
    Marijuana is legal now, sorta… for those who are land owners anyway. The rest of us are in the same boat we were in before it became “legal”. Except it’s no longer considered a non-prosecuting offense. Now the police can just write you a ticket and be on their merry way. The only way this event will ever happen is on private property.

  • Bongstar420

    Hmmmm.The problem is everything beyond cannabis….you see, this means the cannabis cup is mostly not even about cannabis is a liquor license is the primary barrier.

    And I could care less about everything else other than the cannabis…actually, after finding out what ticket prices are and that the fat cats like greenhouse seeds win cups at a rate which is not proportional to the quality of their vending products (greenhouse seeds has a medium status in quality)

  • Cupolove

    Maybe they can have it at a state park. It’s probably different now, but
    I remember an event back in the 90’s called Dexter Lake Shake &
    Bake, and it was held at Elijah Bristow State Park. It was one of those
    hemp fests with lots of bands and puffin going on everywhere, and things were very chill. They’d probably need to get a permit to have it at a state park, but that might be one option. I also recall Conde’s Hemp Fest off of I-5 back in the day, and that would be a good place too, but I think Conde moved to Belize a while ago and sold the land. Ah the memories, those were the days.