The California State Fair announced today it’s adding a cannabis competition.

As with many states, the state fair offers a wide array of agricultural accolades for farmers to lay claim to. Organizers say the various competitions celebrate California’s rich agricultural history around products like wine, craft beer, olive oil and cheese.

“We are pleased to celebrate California’s legal and licensed cannabis industry as part of the CA State Fair in 2022,” said California Exposition & State Fair Board of Director Jess Durfee. “For the past 166 years, the CA State Fair has always been a first mover, leading the State Fair circuit with innovative programming and large-scale competitions that celebrate the best the state has to offer, making the addition of cannabis cultivation a natural new category.”

When announcing the competition, organizers noted it will be open to all licensed growers in California. The three main categories will revolve around the cultivation style and whether it was indoor, mixed-light, or outdoor.

In addition to those who will take home best-in-show, there will also be awards showcasing the primary cannabinoids and terpenes that are truly the key to the experience.

“Seven individual cannabis plant compounds will be tested and identified for awards,” the announcement read. “Based on the levels of cannabinoid and terpenes concentration, 77 bronze, silver, gold and double gold medals will be awarded including the coveted Golden Bear trophy for ‘Best of California.’”

One of the most interesting things about the competition will be how the winners are picked. The process will be completely scientific and conducted by SC Labs. The lab is one of the oldest analytical testing labs in the cannabis industry and has been the official tester for the Emerald Cup’s samples for years.

“I’m really excited to be involved with the state fair because it is the traditional place where the agricultural community comes to show off their best work,” said SC Labs Co-founder and President Josh Wurzer. “This just further validates cannabis as part of that community. As a cannabis scientist, it’s really cool to see an event like this putting the data and analytics at the forefront of the process. It’s making a big leap forward for the application of quantitative cannabis testing to actually measure the qualitative aspects of cannabis.”

The competition will last months, so every farmer should have plenty of time to get their entries in. The submission window will open at the start of November and run through the end of March. The winners will be announced a couple of months later in May before the big festivities at the State Fair at the Cal-Expo in Sacramento July 10-26, 2022.

The Cal-Expo was also home to the first legal Cannabis Cup ever in the spring of 2018.

The award will add a highly credible contest to the annual contest circuit currently dominated by the Emerald Cup and the two editions of the High Times Cannabis Cup. While smaller festivities had attempted to gain their luster in the past, apart from Chalice, nothing comes close. But with the State Fair deciding to add a cannabis contest, it’s so much different than the classics we mentioned. It’s almost like you’re trying to win the normalization of cannabis in California.

But organizers won’t be able to take credit for having the first state fair with a pot contest. That honor goes to Washington, DC in 2015.

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