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High Times lawyer: Cannabis Cup event in Milwaukie would be legal

High Times magazine has enlisted an attorney who helped draft Oregon’s successful Ballot Measure 91 to legalize marijuana to convince the city of Milwaukie to allow the Cannabis Cup to close part of Mailwell Drive from Sept. 19-20.

Leland R. Berger, an attorney with Oregon CannaBusiness Compliance Counsel LLC, opined in a letter to Milwaukie City Attorney Tim Ramis that the event would be legal because it would only allow entry to those who are over 21, or anyone over 18 with an Oregon medical marijuana card.

Local business owners who gave High Times their consent for the closure of Mailwell Drive included Keen Healthcare, Pistl Point, Pacific Marketing & Publishing, and Grand & Benedicts. As for whether the event allowing consumption of marijuana would violate Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act, Berger said that the law only would apply if the event were public or were a place of employment.

“The indoor portion of the event, located at 2100 S.E. Mailwell Drive in Milwaukie, is a private warehouse that does not have any employees, and therefore does not qualify as a place of employment,” Berger wrote. “I believe the event is well within the parameters of Oregon law post-Measure 91, and write seeking some assurance from you that the city of Milwaukie agrees with my analysis and will not shut down the event because of on-site consumption.”

Jason Wachs, Milwaukie’s community programs coordinator, said the city has not yet decided whether to issue the temporary event permit.

“We had some questions about their amendments and clarifications, which we are now waiting to receive a response to,” Wachs said. “They must show full compliance with our requirements in order to receive approval.”

High Times’ general counsel and events director wrote to Milwaukie officials that they expect hundreds of tourists to flock once again to the annual event.

“In April 2014, our three-day Denver Cannabis Cup brought nearly $50 million to the city,” they wrote. “We now want to bring this economic boon to Milwaukie.”