For the first time in history — and in a telling demonstration of how far Oregon’s normalization process has come — live cannabis plants will be on display this year at the Oregon State Fair. The fair, a celebration of the finest Oregon farm crops and livestock, runs August 26 through September 5 at the state fairgrounds in Salem.
According to Don Morse, chairman of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, nine award-winning cannabis plants will be displayed in a restricted, greenhouse area throughout the course of the state fair. Attendees will have to show their ID proving they are 21 or older before they will be allowed entrance to the display.
“We are celebrating the plant as a farm crop from Oregon,” Morse told The Oregonian‘s Noelle Crombie.
“We are not promoting the use of cannabis,” he said. “We are there to show … people over 21 what award-winning cannabis plants look like.”
Fair spokesman Dan Cox said, “This is really a reflection of where Oregon is now as a state.” He said the state fair’s decision to include legal cannabis is a nod to the “direction that the entire state is moving.”
The plants will be judged by a panel of experts — including renowned cannabis cultivation pioneer and author Ed Rosenthal — at the Oregon Cannabis Growers Fair, a special and inaugural event taking place August 13-14 on the state fairgrounds. According to event organizer Mary Lou Burton, who is also founder of the Cannabis Collaborative Convention, more than 200 Oregon growers are expected to submit specimens for the contest.
The plants will be judged on the following qualities:
- Shape and structure
- Node stacking
- Leaf structure
- General health and lack of pest
Tickets are available online for both the Oregon Cannabis Growers Fair and the Oregon State Fair, sold separately.