Morning Roundup

Photo Credit: Oregonian

Budget shortfall subject of ongoing debate, Beaverton startup may be Amazon of marijuana industry and vegan grocery is on hold.

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1. Government, business leaders debate budget shortfall

With a $1.7 billion budget shortfall, and a pension defecit of $22 billion, revision proposals to the public employee retirement system are increasing. One such proposal considers allocating employees’ 6% retirement contribution to the pension system, the Oregonian reports. Doing so could raise more than $1 billion in two years. But the proposal’s legality is in question. The PERS Coalition says it’s unfair to use employees’ pensions to pay off the shortfall. Instead, many hope for a tax out of the 2017 legislative session to bridge the funding gap.

2. Obama orders review of election hacking

President Obama announced this morning he expects a report detailing election-related hacking before he leaves office Jan. 20, Politico reports. Obama said he intends to review the information to understand exactly what happened and learn from it. The information will likely be distributed to Congress, but it’s unclear at this point if the report will be made public.

3. CannaGuard wants to be Amazon of cannabis

Beaverton-based CannaGuard provides armored transport of marijuana to its 15,000-square-foot warehouse and delivers products as growers make a sale, the Portland Business Journal reports. The business was just licensed last week and already has shipments coming in. As the business evolves, CannaGuard intends to further develop its distribution hub.

4. Online marijuana ad market grows

Since new regulations went into effect Oct. 1, growers have explored new avenues to sell product. Online sales are becoming increasingly popular, but this outlet is illegal, the Statesman Journal reports. Many sellers post product on Craigslist for either cash or trade.  

5. Vegan grocery store on hold, indefinitely

Germany’s Veganz announced earlier this year Portland would play host to its first U.S. store. It seems those plans are now on hold, the Portland Business Journal reports. Veganz had hinted at a 2016 opening, but European demand has grown, so Portland project has been deferred.

6. OB Blog: Two years later: Medford “cool” still elusive.

A lack of city action and the demise of a downtown association stymie Medford revitalization efforts. 

7. Portland thaw underway

As predicted, Portland and the surrounding metro area was blanketed with snow before freezing rain formed a layer of ice over the city. Most schools are either closed or delayed this morning, and public transit is struggling to operate on schedule. OPB reports the thaw should begin after 10 a.m.