California State Fair will host the first-ever cannabis competition. Here’s how the winners will be determined


The California State Fair is known for hosting some of the best agricultural producers in the state who have mastered California staples like wine, olive oil and cheese.

But this year, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the fair is making agricultural history by announcing the first event sanctioned by a state agency. cannabis contest.

As with their other agricultural competitions, fair organizers said one of their main goals is to educate the public about agricultural products and industry standards, including those related to cannabis cultivation.

“We hope the State Fair Cannabis Competition will help the state fight the black market and encourage the licensing of cultivars in California, which keeps cannabis out of the reach of children, while ensuring a healthier product. safer and cleaner for cannabis users,” show organizers wrote on their website.

The 21+ event will not involve any consumption or sale of cannabis on the fairgrounds. Entries will be scored after undergoing laboratory analysis that will measure a variety of chemicals and compounds found in cannabis products. They will be categorized based on the levels of certain chemicals that give cannabis different flavors and smells and others that produce the psychoactive effects of the plant.

The competition has more than 70 prizes in three categories based on their increasing light source: outdoor, mixed light and indoor.

The event is organized by Brian Applegarth, founder of Cultivar Brands – a marketing and events agency in California specializing in cannabis and cannabis-related travel. Applegarth said the plan to hold a cannabis contest at the state fair took years of education and demystification about the plant and that it’s important to California.

“I think it’s a platform to really help people understand what cannabis is in our state as an industry,” Applegarth told The Chronicle. “But also hopefully help mainstream consumers understand how cannabis works, from medical to wellness to adult use and why these three conversations are all very important in and of themselves.”

Applegarth explained that in addition to educating the public about the science behind cannabis, the event will tell the story of the plant in California.

“He’s also going to talk about the role of cannabis in different communities,” Applegarth said, including people of color who suffered disproportionately during the war on drugs. “And also the queer community and the role of cannabis on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic as an appetite stimulant to really save lives. And it goes beyond that.”

The fair opens on July 15 and will include other competitions such as the best wines, cheeses, craft beers and olive oils.

“I really invite everyone to come and experience this really complex and very exciting factory and all the capabilities that surround it because it’s so inclusive,” Applegarth said.

Ryce Stoughtenborough is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail:
Twitter: @rstoughts


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