Paul Stanford

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Paul Stanford
OccupationMarijuana activist
Years active1984–March 2023
Notable workThe Hemp and Cannabis Foundation

Paul Stanford is the founder of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF),[1] THCF Medical Clinics,[2] and the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).[3]

Stanford founded the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation in 1999[4] in Portland, Oregon. The group claimed to have helped over 250,000 patients obtain a legal permit to use medical marijuana in the states where it is legal and where THCF has clinics.[5] THCF was the largest chain of medical marijuana clinics in the U.S., with clinics in 12 states.[6] The clinic has since been sold to outside investors and is now known as Empower Clinics. Stanford maintains the company was stolen and continues to fight in court to regain control.[7]


Stanford has been active working toward ending marijuana and hemp prohibition since 1984.[8] He first attended a protest for marijuana legalization at the White House in Washington, DC a week after his 18th birthday in 1978.[9] In 1984, he was instrumental in a now-famous Oregon political ballot initiative called the Oregon Marijuana Initiative (OMI),[10] which made the ballot and lost, but became the template for Stanford's later efforts. He helped Jack Herer research and write the first edition of The Emperor Wears No Clothes in 1985.[11]

Stanford has been called as an expert court witness on marijuana and medicinal cannabis issues.[12] He has produced and hosted over 750 episodes of live TV programs for his public access show Cannabis Common Sense.[13] He has also produced and announced radio shows and advertising.[14] Stanford produced the yearly Hempstalk festival[15] in Portland, Oregon, which was last held in 2016.

THCF prints a newspaper, Hemp News,[16] which has also been online since 1991 and is the oldest online publication still operating today.[17] It is also printed in Spanish.[18]

Another one of Stanford's businesses, which was founded over 25 years ago, is the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). Stanford helped draft Oregon Ballot Measure 80, and Stanford and CRRH placed Oregon's Measure 80 to legalize hemp and cannabis on the ballot in 2012,[19] which obtained 47% of the Oregon vote.[20] In 2014 CRRH tried again, but failed to get their initiatives on the ballot. In the end, campaigners were complaining of late paychecks and picketing the campaign office.[21]


In 1988 Stanford started Tree Free Eco Paper, which arranged for the manufacture of hemp paper in China and Europe. He secured initial capital financing and received bank letters of credit for the import and export of shipments of hemp products to and from Asia, Europe and North America. Tree Free Eco Paper imported hemp paper and marketed to businesses and the public via mail order. The business failed, resulting in lawsuits from disgruntled investors.[22]

The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation has opened medical clinics in 12 states. 250,000 patients have gone through THCF's clinics.[23]

THCF's medical marijuana gardens in Oregon have won many awards.[24][7] His stock was deflated and he lost controlling ownership of the company in a hostile takeover.[25] The company is now known as Empower Healthcare.

In 2012, Stanford helped Willie Nelson obtain his Oregon medical marijuana permit. THCF also helped other people associated with Nelson to obtain their Oregon medical marijuana permits.[26]

Legal issues[edit]

While attending Portland State University, Stanford was arrested twice for selling marijuana.[27] In 1991, after starting Tree Free Eco Paper, he served a five-month prison term for violating the terms of his probation by traveling outside the country.[28]

In 1999, a judge ordered Stanford to repay $39,000 to Microsoft millionaire Bruce McKinney as part of a failed marijuana legalization campaign in Washington state.[27] In 1999 and 2000, Stanford filed for bankruptcy multiple times, and his house was foreclosed on in 2001.[27]

Stanford has lost several battles with the Internal Revenue Service, including a judgement for $200,000 in 2009.[29] In addition, the State of Oregon has filed more than $33,000 in tax liens against Stanford.[29] In 2011, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, agreeing to 18 months probation and 160 hours of community service.[30] He claims these legal issues are as a result of persecution for his political beliefs.[30]

Award-winning marijuana cultivation[edit]

Stanford has won awards for his medical marijuana,[31] and has given away over 200 kilos of free marijuana a year to sick and dying patients over the last 12 years.[32] Stanford won the top three places at the 2008 Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards.[33][34] He took first place with his version of a strain known as Lemon Pledge, second with a strain called Train Wreck, and third with Dynamite. Stanford also won an honorable mention for best flavor with Green Lantern.[34]

Other marijuana-related projects[edit]

Stanford has an online museum of antique medical cannabis bottles and containers.[35]


  1. ^ Pitkin, James (May 5, 2008). "Mannix Drops Anti-Marijuana Ballot Initiative". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  2. ^ Miller, Jennie. "State's First Medical Marijuana Clinic Opens In Southfield". C & G Publishing. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  3. ^ Willson, Kate (June 16, 2014). "Marijuana Legalization Campaigns in Final Push to Make November Ballot". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  4. ^ Dundas, Zach (January 24, 2007). "Garden of Weedin'". Willamette Week. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  5. ^ Abney, Wes. "The Fighter". No. September 2014. NW Leaf Magazine. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  6. ^ KATU Communities Staff (September 19, 2012). "Salem to host cannabis tax act discussion on Sept. 28". Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Proposed Transaction Between SMAART Holdings Inc. and Adira Energy Ltd". Market Wired. November 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Cooper, Anderson (July 24, 2009). "America's High, the Case for and Against Pot". CNN. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  9. ^ King, Bonnie (January 14, 2011). "Oregon Marijuana Activists Make OCTA 2012 Official". Salem News. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  10. ^ Pitkin, James (January 6, 2010). "Joint Initiatives". Willamette Week. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  11. ^ Elliot, Steve (15 April 2010). "R.I.P.: Jack Herer, The Emperor Of Hemp". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  12. ^ King, Bonnie (March 22, 2009). "Washington State Marijuana Trial on National Stage". Salem News. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  13. ^ King, Bonnie (January 14, 2011). "Oregon Marijuana Activists Make OCTA 2012 Official". Salem News. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  14. ^ Hardin, J. Nayer (15 March 2014). "What is going on in the marijuana movement". Hemp Nayer. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  15. ^ Theen, Andrew (November 17, 2014). "Hempstalk Festival's lawyer: Portland is lying about drug use; festival is a civil-rights issue". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  16. ^ "The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF)". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  17. ^ "Expo Cannabis". Expo Cannabis. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  18. ^ News, Hemp. "Hemp News printed in Spanish". Retrieved 24 January 2016. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  19. ^ VanderHart, Dirk (April 16, 2014). "Choices, Choices - November's Ballot Could Be Packed with Legal Pot Measures". No. April 16, 2014. The Portland Mercury. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  20. ^ Belville, Russ (October 29, 2013). "Oregon's Inevitable Pot Legalization in 2014". High Times. Archived from the original on 7 October 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  21. ^ Dirk, VanderHart. "Toking with the Enemy". Portland Mercury.
  22. ^ Duara, Nigel (January 1, 2012). "For Portlan's Dope King, Love and Mistrust". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  23. ^ Scott, Tristan (January 11, 2010). "Applying for relief: Missoula clinic helps patients fill out paperwork for medical marijuana". Missoulian. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  24. ^ Dundas, Zach (January 24, 2007). "Garden of Weedin'". Willamette Week. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  25. ^ Bonnie King (August 30, 2016). "Hostile Takeover of a Longtime Cannabis Icon".
  26. ^ Crombie, Noelle (March 20, 2012). "Willie Nelson throws his support behind proposed Oregon marijuana initiative". The Oregonian. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  27. ^ a b c "King Bong". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  28. ^ "For Portland's dope king, love and mistrust". Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  29. ^ a b "For Portland's dope king, love and mistrust". Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  30. ^ a b "Cannabis Activist Paul Stanford Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2016-11-18.
  31. ^ Dundas, Zach (January 24, 2007). "Gaden of Weedin'". Willamette Week. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  32. ^ Abney, Wes (September 2014). "The Fighter". No. September 2014. Northwest Leaf Magazine. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  33. ^ Pitkin, James (December 14, 2008). "Stanford Rolls to Victory at Medical Cannabis Awards". Willamette Week. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  34. ^ a b "Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards 7th Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards". Cannabis Cup Winners. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  35. ^ Stanford, Paul. "Paul Stanford's Antique Cannabis Bottle Collection". Paul Stanford's Antique Cannabis Bottle Collection. Retrieved 27 May 2016.

As of 30 December 2019, this article is derived in whole or in part from, authored by Paul Stanford. The copyright holder has licensed the content in a manner that permits reuse under CC BY-SA 3.0 and GFDL. All relevant terms must be followed.

External links[edit]