The Oregon State Fair celebrates oddities like the “curviest vegetable” and the “most misshapen fruit.” Fairgoers can marvel over award-winning onions and pumpkins and snap photos of the top pig and llama.
This year, the state fair is adding a new attraction: prize-winning marijuana plants. For the first time, Oregon’s marijuana crop will be on display at the annual event, which runs Aug. 26 through Sept. 5.
Don Morse, chairman of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, the sponsor of the marijuana exhibit, said nine plants will be displayed in a greenhouse that will have its own entrance and exit. The area will be monitored by a security guard. Only people 21 and older will be allowed in.
Fair officials said the inclusion of cannabis plants is a nod to the newly legal status of the crop.
“This is really a reflection of where Oregon is now as a state,” said Dan Cox, spokesman for the fair.
He said the state fair is an “inclusive sort of forum,” especially when it comes to agricultural commodities. He said the fair is moving in the “direction that the entire state is moving.”
Morse said the plants will have ribbons just like any other prize-winning crop. The plants will come to the fair having already been judged by a panel of marijuana growers, including Ed Rosenthal, a well-known author and cannabis expert.
“We are doing it 4H style,” he said. “You get a blue, purple or yellow ribbon. We are celebrating the plant as a farm crop from Oregon.”
Fairgoers hoping for a sample will be disappointed, Morse said.
“We are not promoting the use of cannabis,” he said. “We are there to show plants to people over 21 what award-winning cannabis plants look like.”
— Noelle Crombie