Portland, Oregon, marijuana program needs work, report says

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Portland, Oregon’s cannabis program needs to improve a wide range of “management fundamentals” as well as continue to work on issues such as social equity and conservation, according to a city auditor’s report.

The findings in the 16-page report about the Community and Civic Life Office’s oversight of Portland’s marijuana program include:

  • Data for licensing, enforcement and complaints is not reliable.
  • Budgets and fees are not based on strategy or workloads.
  • Complex regulations need to be streamlined.
  • Law enforcement for illegal marijuana sales is lacking.
  • More data is needed to determine whether the city’s social equity efforts are successful.

Community and Civic Life Director Suk Rhee and the agency’s overseer, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, released a joint statement saying they generally agree with the recommendations to improve the program but believe the report “would benefit from additional context and information regarding our operations,” The Oregonian reported.

Last November, Portland’s marijuana program adopted a strategy focusing on social equity, community involvement, sustainability and “sensible regulation.”

The program currently licenses and regulates 391 cannabis businesses:

  • 193 retailers
  • 71 wholesalers
  • 60 processors
  • 57 producers
  • 10 couriers

Another 120 license applications are pending.