Article originally published by Leafly.com
Written by Gage Peake
You might remember your last trip to the state fair — the fried foods, the sketchy carnival rides, the monster pumpkins on display. At this year’s Oregon State Fair, there will be a new attraction: Oregon-grown cannabis.
For the first time ever, prime examples of the Beaver State’s cannabis crop will be on display at the annual festival, which is scheduled to run in Salem from Aug. 26 through Sept. 5. More than 60 growers will be showcasing their live cannabis plants, which will be judged by Ed Rosenthal, the growing guru and former High Times columnist, along with four local growers.
According to Don Morse, chairman of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, judges will pick the top three plants in each of three categories — sativa, indica, and hybrid.
“We are very excited about it,” Morse told Leafly. “It is going to be the first time in the nation’s history that cannabis plants will be exhibited at a state fair.”
This has been in the works for over a year and a half, Morse explained. His group participated in last year’s state fair, providing educational material to people curious about the cannabis industry.
“We were not promoting use,” he said. “We were promoting how you grow it, how you extract it, how edibles are made,” he said. “We were using videos and things like that. The idea was, if everything went well, we would move in this direction — where we could exhibit live plants.”
Everything did go well, and now the Oregon State Fair will be the first fair in the country to display a live exhibit of non-flowering cannabis plants. According to Morse, there will be several things to check out at the OCBC exhibition.
“There will be companies there from around the country and around the state that provide services for growers. Soil companies, lighting companies, etc. Anything dealing with growing, they are going to be there.”
Morse believes it will be a groundbreaking moment for the cannabis industry, one that will continue to bridge the gap from prohibition era to a more mainstream, legal cannabis industry.
“One of the mottos for the Oregon Cannabis Business Council is safe access in a socially responsible manner,” he said. “We regularly reach out to the community with some form of education, to destigmatize the industry and the plant. For the people at the state fair to let this happen is really groundbreaking.
“The Legislature has designated cannabis as a farm crop in Oregon, and we are treating it that way. This is the way to celebrate the plant and the grower. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.”
If checking out cannabis plants is something you are interested in, the Oregon Cannabis Business Council is holding the Oregon Cannabis Growers Fair just before the actual state fair begins. The Oregon Cannabis Growers Fair will take place at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Aug. 13 and 14. The growers fair will give visitors the opportunity to see all the plants entered in the competition.