Laugh to keep from crying

A lot of what you need to know about the failures of Portland city government is now conveniently illustrated in one news story, here.

Portland cannabis businesses that are struggling with slumping demand and a rash of robberies can apply next week for $456,901 in relief funds taken from the 3% city tax on weed sales.

The Office of Community & Civic Life will begin accepting applications for the money Jan. 16 and will stop Feb. 14. NuProject, a city-funded nonprofit that helps people of color kick-start cannabis businesses, will disburse the money, said NuProject executive director Jeanette Ward Horton.

Both small cannabis businesses and employees are eligible for the funds. Licensed businesses within the city limits can get up to $25,000. Individuals can get up to $5,000. The funds are aimed at shops and workers who have suffered because of COVID-19, vandalism, wildfires, robberies, “and the residual effects of illness, trauma, and grief,” Community & Civic Life said in a press release....

Shops must have less than $2 million in annual revenue and may not hold more than three licenses from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Businesses owned by people who are historically disadvantaged are exempted from those limits, however.

It's only half a million – maybe we should just laugh it off. But if you do bother to think about it, this is the essence of bad government. Even if you believe "weed equity" is a legitimate public concern, who gets to decide who gets the "grief" handouts? "NuProject"? Who the heck is that?

According to Executive Director Horton's LinkedIn page, the organization has been around for more than four years and has handed out $1.5 million in grants and loans. 

NuProject grants and loans 100% of its funds to historically excluded entrepreneurs and the majority of its funds to cannabis businesses owned by Black and brown entrepreneurs. To date, NuProject has funded nearly $1.5M to historically underserved entrepreneurs.

I assume "M" means millions; that's certainly what it's meant to indicate. But it's interesting, because when you look at the Oregon state business registry, NuProject was just incorporated a month ago, by a law firm in Eugene. Its actual officers are not shown. And you can't find it on GuideStar, the internet service that helps donors check up on charities before handing them money.

What could go wrong?

You would think that any rational government, stung by the ongoing scandal at "Brown Hope," would take it easy on the blank checks for a while. Not Portland City Hall. Around here, nothing succeeds like failure. 


  1. Yet another example of the stunning stupidity that is Portland, Oregon. Idiot liberals have no idea how to properly run things. How about a fund to rescue the hundreds of restaurants who were damaged or shut down due to the pandemic? Or a fund to rescue the dozens of other businesses who were forced to close down due to the pandemic? Why do we want to only help the morons running the pot shops?
    So idiotic! So Portland!


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