After a series of misfires last year organizers say they have secured a venue for the Astoria Hempfest for 2013. Nick Clark, who owns Natures's Choice Alternative Medicine in Astoria announced to the city council that the event will be held at the clatsop county fairgrounds on Labor Day weekend. The Fairgrounds website confirms the event is scheduled for August 31st and September 1st.
Last year was to be the inaugural Astoria Hempfest but a series of complications for the organization led to holding the event in Longview, Washington instead of anywhere in Clatsop County. In 2012 local law enforcement officials were quite vocal about the possibility of the event being staged here. Astoria Deputy Police Chief Brad Johnston was quoted saying at the time that he found the title of the festival to be disingenious as, he said, Hemp is a different kind of product than marijuana. Last year Clark had said that the event might have medical marjuana tents where people with Oregon Medical Marjuana Cards could take the drug. Police warned that they would be watching the roads carefully for anyone who might be considered under the influence leaving the venue. It's not clear at this point that marijuana will be offered at the Fairgrounds venue this year. The Astoria City Council didn't ask and Clark didn't volunteer any further information.