Hempstalk returning to Waterfront Park, City Council approves pe - KPTV - FOX 12

Hempstalk returning to Waterfront Park, City Council approves permit

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A marijuana themed festival has been moving around to different parks in Portland the last few years, but now organizers have been given permission to bring it back to Waterfront Park.

Hempstalk has been a somewhat controversial event in recent years, prompting complaints from the parks departments and the Portland Police Bureau.

The festival originated at Waterfront Park, was then moved to Kelley Pointe Park and then came back to the waterfront last year.

At a City Council hearing on Thursday, Portland Police said participants were openly smoking pot and selling it last year, which is against the rules. So the City denied the group a permit for this year.

Mayor Charlie Hales and the rest of the City Council didn't seem to buy their arguments and voted to grant Hempstalk a permit for Waterfront Park.

Organizers said the police testimony is not true and they hope they can work together to make the event fair and fun.

"The City waived the no smoking rule for the Seattle Hemp Fest two weeks ago. We'd like to see something like that for our park or designated smoking areas. But if they don't want us to smoke anything in the park, we'll enforce that rule like we did last year," said Paul Stanford, Hempstalk organizer.

Hempstalk organizers told FOX 12 they want to hold the event the last weekend of September.

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