12-09-2022  9:11 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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Kwanzaa Returns In-Person to North Portland Library

For the past 20 years, North Portland Library has been hosting a community Kwanzaa event. After a two-year pause of in-person events, it's back.

NW Portland Store Allegedly Selling Psychedelic Mushrooms Raided

Witnesses say customers lined up around the block after a national story broke on the local business

Awash in Illegal Marijuana, Oregon Looks at Toughening Laws

So far this year, police have seized over 105 tons of illegally grown marijuana in Oregon. The grows use massive amounts of water in drought-stricken areas, contaminate the environment and employ migrant laborers who live in squalid conditions.

Merkley Introduces Bill to Ban Private Equity Firms from Predatory Housing Practices

End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act seeks to return single-family housing stock to families.


Oregon Celebrates the 10th Open Enrollment Period Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Eligibility rules have changed, making health coverage more affordable for an additional estimated 40,000 Oregonians ...

Volunteers of America Oregon Receives Agility Grant From the National Council on Problem Gambling

The funds will support the development of a Peer Driven Problem Gambling Prevention Campaign targeting high school and college-age...

Commissioner Jayapal Invites Community Members for Coffee

Multnomah County Commissioner will be available for a conversation on priorities and the county's work ...

GFO African-American Special Interest Group Meeting to Feature Southern Claims Commission

The Dec. 17 meeting of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon will feature Shelley Viola Murphy, PhD via ZOOM. Murphy will discuss the...

Charter Commission Concludes Study, Issues Report

The Portland Charter Commission have concluded their two-year term referring nine proposals to the November 2024 election and...

Oregon lawsuit spotlights destruction of Black neighborhoods

A home that was a fixture of Bobby Fouther's childhood is now a parking lot, the two-story, shingle-sided house having been demolished in the 1970s along with many other properties in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. “Growing up there was just all about...

Pricey pants from 1857 go for 4k, raise Levi's questions

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Pulled from a sunken trunk at an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, work pants that auction officials describe as the oldest known pair of jeans in the world have sold for 4,000. The white, heavy-duty miner's pants with a five-button fly were among...

Saxen's 19 help Saint Mary's knock off Missouri State 66-46

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Saxen's 19 points helped Saint Mary's defeat Missouri State 66-46 on Wednesday. Saxen had six rebounds for the Gaels (7-3). Aidan Mahaney scored 13 points and Alex Ducas finished with nine points. Chance Moore led the Bears (4-5) in...

Purdue Fort Wayne takes down Southeast Missouri State 89-68

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Jarred Godfrey scored 19 points as Purdue Fort Wayne beat Southeast Missouri State 89-68 on Wednesday night. Godfrey had eight rebounds and five assists for the Mastodons (6-4). Bobby Planutis scored 14 points, and Quinton Morton-Robertson had 13. ...


‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...


AP WAS THERE: Supreme Court legalizes interracial marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — EDITOR’S NOTE: On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court was wrapping up the final orders for the term. Among the cases before them was that of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who had been sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage...

Pennsylvania panel updates anti-discrimination regulations

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state panel on Thursday narrowly approved new definitions of sex, religious creed and race in Pennsylvania's anti-discrimination regulations, with three members appointed by Democrats in favor and two Republican appointees voting no. The Independent...

St. Louis mayor appoints commission to consider reparations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones is appointing a reparations commission that will “recommend a proposal to begin repairing the harms that have been inflicted” by slavery, segregation and racism. St. Louis joins a growing list of places trying to determine how to...


'Top Gun' named best film by National Board of Review

NEW YORK (AP) — “Top Gun: Maverick,” 2022's biggest box-office hit, has been named the best film of the year by the National Board of Review. Though the National Board of Review, a long-running organization comprised of film enthusiasts and academics, has no overlap or...

AFI Awards to honor ‘Avatar,’ ‘Elvis,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Next month’s AFI Awards will honor films including the “Avatar” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Elvis” and popular television series like “Abbott Elementary,” “Better Call Saul” and “The White Lotus.” The American Film Institute announced...

The Year of the Slap: Pop culture moments in 2022

Taylor Swift was up. Elon Musk was in, out, and in. Tom Cruise was back. BTS stepped aside, and so did Serena Williams, and Tom Brady too — oops, scratch that. But the slap? The slap was everywhere. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t on the level of a moon landing, or selection...


Trump lawyers in court for sealed hearing in Mar-a-Lago case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump were in court Friday for sealed arguments as part of the ongoing...

'Aftersun,' 'Banshees' lead AP's best films of 2022

The Associated Press’ Film Writers Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr's picks for the best movies of 2022: ...

New Peru president appears with military to cement power

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru's first female president appeared in a military ceremony on national television on Friday...

China's Xi vows to buy more Mideast oil as US focus wanes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Chinese leader Xi Jinping vowed on Friday to import more oil and natural gas...

Russian politician sentenced for Ukraine action criticism

MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent Russian opposition figure was on Friday sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison after being...

New abnormal: Climate disaster damage 'down' to 8 billion

This past year has seen a horrific flood that submerged one-third of Pakistan, one of the three costliest U.S....

KC Crews of Green Hop Dispensary
Saundra Sorensen

Two Black-owned cannabis businesses in Portland have been awarded the first-ever small business grants earmarked from the city’s recreational marijuana tax revenue.

In 2016, Portland voters passed Measure 26, specifying that a 3 percent tax on recreational sales would be used in part to support minority-owned and women-owned local businesses in the cannabis industry. It is the first such tax initiative in the U.S. Further language in the measure emphasizes that these funds will provide “economic opportunity and education to communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.”

In January, the resulting Cannabis Business Development Equity Program awarded $30,000 individual grants to both subscription box provider Green Box and Green Hop, a brick-and-mortar dispensary with a social justice mission.

“The voters said they cared about the economic harm done to the communities through (marijuana) arrests and the war on drugs, and want to give back,” said Jeannette Ward Horton, project manager at the NuLeaf Project, a nonprofit chosen as the program’s provider.

In addition to the funding, each business will receive at least four months of business advice and guidance through NuLeaf.

While exact statistics for cannabis business ownership in the state of Oregon are not available, Ward Horton argued numbers from Colorado provide a workable comparison: Only 1 percent of cannabis businesses are owned by African Americans, the racial demographic most arrested on marijuana charges. In total, 15 percent of cannabis businesses are owned by people of color.

The Cannabis Business Development Equity Program is administered by Prosper Portland, the city’s development commission.

“We have a $3 million program called the Inclusive Business Network, where we fund 16 organizations that serve entrepreneurs of color and women,” project manager Katherine Krajnak said.

“We served 735 businesses last year: 70 percent (were owned by) people of color, and 60 percent were women-owned.”

Ward Horton explained how Green Box and Green Hop were chosen out of the more than dozen applicants.

“These are strong businesses ready to explode, ready to scale with the right capital. They’re just missing the capital to scale,” she said.

“The subscription model economy is exploding outside of cannabis, and there aren’t a lot of delivery licenses in Oregon. So you corner the market. Green Hop is a retailer, but what makes them special is they’re creating this cannabis hip hop experience, having these events and culture activities. They’re really trying to push what is retail and what it means to serve a community.”

Green Box owner Adrian Wayman says his business, now in its second year, caters to “people that tend to be overwhelmed by shopping in a typical dispensary environment, or absolutely don’t want to be seen by others,” as well as customers who want more consistency in product -- the decrease in overhead costs means Wayman can better keep up with inventory.

The new funding source will enable Wayman to expand his previously one-man operation. He confirmed to The Skanner that since receiving the $30,000 grant, he has been holding interviews with potential drivers, fulfillment team members, and creative and marketing staff.

“I think I deserve (the grant) for the simple fact I have been affected due to harsh laws,” Wayman said. He was arrested for possession 19 years ago in DeKalb County, Georgia, while waiting for his bus. He says he was approached by a number of police officers with guns drawn, and that they discovered a small amount of marijuana on him. He spent the next 18 months on probation, and saw an adverse impact on his job prospects after.

Wayman acknowledged another piece of city legislation that helps residents with past cannabis convictions pursue expungement. “That’ something that I could pursue, but at this point, I think that as a business owner now I don’t need it. It may be something I do down the road just to get it done, but at this point I’m not in any hurry. I’m not applying for anyone’s job.”

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