From HempCon, one of the biggest medical marijuana trade shows in the world, to Northern California’s Cannabis Cup, run by High Times magazine, county fairgrounds have been hosting cannabis fairs for more than a decade.
When Senate Bill 94, which provided sweeping legalization measures for marijuana, included a provision mentioning California’s fairgrounds, there was speculation that its distinctive scent might be wafting through the county fair’s food courts next year as well.
However, according to several in the cannabis industry, it is unlikely weed vendors will get a spot next to the funnel cake just yet.
"This really just makes it legal," said Hezekiah Allen, the executive director of California Growers Association. "I would be surprised if we saw sales and consumption at a county fair anytime soon."
According to the Cannifornian, the Contra Costa County Fair already has decided against it until there is more clarity surrounding marijuana policies.
Allen said both the cannabis industry and district agricultural boards, which make decisions regarding its local county fair, generally like to keep the two events separate.
However, when and if that should change, Allen says it will be up to the county to decide.
"This is really just about respecting the local control and diversity," Allen said.
A diversity of opinion, he says, that separates places like Tulare or Fresno counties, which voted against marijuana legalization, from other places like rural Humboldt County, where Allen was raised.
Each county does have the right to permit marijuana vendors, according to the bill, provided they offer a designated enclosed space and regulate the consumption of marijuana to people over the age of 21.
However, if you have ambitions of growing a prize-winning pot creation, don’t fret. Your blue-ribbon recognition may not be far away.
The Oregon State Fair plans to host its second agricultural cannabis competition, according to Donald Morse, the president of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, along with an exhibition.
"We’re going to have live flowering plants, actual examples of edibles, oils, concentrates and tropicals on display," Morse said.
Morse says the exhibit doesn’t sell any marijuana and uses its space to spread educational materials, answer questions from older folks and get the correct information out to those curious about consuming or growing cannabis.