02-27-2020  6:12 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping


Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

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State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

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Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

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New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

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Harris, Booker Applaud House For Announcing Vote on Anti-Lynching Legislation

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Jury: Man callously disregarded life in train murders

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury has ruled that Jeremy Christian callously disregarded the lives of the three men he stabbed on a Portland light rail train, was fueled by racist and religious bigotry, poses a future danger and can’t be rehabilitated.The 12-person jury on Thursday also...

Missing fisherman found dead off Newport

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — A body found in the waters off Newport, Oregon has been identified as that of a fisherman who has been missing for nearly three weeks, the Newport Police Department said Thursday.Norman Grant was reported missing on Feb. 9 and hadn't been seen since the evening of Feb....

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...


Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...


Buttigieg back in political fray after respite for bad cold

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A bit hoarse and with an occasional cough, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg returned to the political fray Thursday, resuming a whirlwind schedule after taking a half-day to rest after getting hit with a bad cold. “Excuse me, I've had my own...

Trump meets with black supporters, vows equal opportunity

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday cited low unemployment rates for African Americans and passage of a criminal justice bill providing earlier release for thousands of federal drug offenders as examples of how he’s helping the black community.Trump met with African...

Students stage sit-in outside University of Oklahoma offices

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Dozens of University of Oklahoma students staged a sit-in for a second day Thursday outside OU's administrative offices following two instances of professors using racial slurs in the classroom.However, OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. has rejected the demands of...


A rebel yell: Billy Idol stars in New York anti-idling ads

NEW YORK (AP) — Rocker Billy Idol is the face of an anti-idling campaign launched Thursday in New York City.“Billy never idles, so why should you?” the '80s MTV star growls in a public service announcement intended to shame New Yorkers into shutting the engine off. The...

NBC renews 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Chicago' dramas for 3 years

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Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, Maren Morris nab top ACM noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning duo Dan + Shay lead the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with six nominations for Dan Smyers and five for Shay Mooney and helped pop star Justin Bieber earn his first-ever ACM noms. In the nominations announced Thursday, the powerhouse duo share...


Virus anxiety triggers biggest 1-day market drop since 2011

Worldwide markets plummeted again Thursday, deepening a weeklong rout triggered by growing anxiety that the...

Biggest explosion seen in universe came from black hole

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronomers have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the universe,...

Plácido Domingo revises apology, as Spain drops more shows

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Opera star Placido Domingo amended his apology to the multiple women who have accused...

Grief grips Peruvian community one month after deadly fire

LIMA, Peru (AP) — One month after a gas tanker leak triggered fires and explosions that killed 30 people in...

Putin rejected offer to use body doubles during Chechen war

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had rejected an offer to use body doubles for...

22 Turkish soldiers killed in northeast Syria air strike

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish official said early Friday 22 Turkish soldiers have been killed in an air...

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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