The California Cannabis Industry Association is sponsoring the first ever cannabis judging competition at the 2019 State Fair. This event will be open to all Californians who are 21 or older and have a valid medical card.


COVID cancellations have plagued California’s state fair for the last two years. However, preparations for next year’s event have already begun.

A new prize for best pot will be given out among the livestock and culinary contests. We’re learning more about how the marijuana competition will be evaluated. Sacramento’s state fair is a midsummer tradition.

Its goal, in addition to all the food and pleasure, is to honor the finest in California. Competitions are conducted every year to choose the best wine, cheese, olive oil, and craft beer. However, a new category will be introduced next year: cannabis cultivation.

Cultivar Brands CEO Brian Applegarth stated, “It’s a significant milestone for the cannabis business.”

The top pot competition was authorized by the board of directors of Cal Expo.

“As far as I know, it’s the first time any state fair has done that,” said Jess Durfee, chair of the Cal Expo board of directors.

Its goal, according to Durfee, is to honor the high-quality contributions of California’s cannabis growers.

Durfee added, “It’s a booming business; it’s essential to agriculture in California.”

Other competitions have historically relied on a panel of judges to sample and rank all of the submissions. So, how will the marijuana competition be judged?

“There will not be a panel of judges sitting there smoking marijuana,” Durfee added.

Instead, each submission is submitted to a laboratory, where it is objectively evaluated based on its chemical makeup.

Applegarth said, “We’re looking at seven distinct categories, two of which are cannabinoids and five of which are terpene profiles.”

The roughly 7,000 licensed cannabis growers in the state are eligible to compete. The winner, like wine and the others, will be honored with the renowned “golden bear” award, which recognizes the finest of the state’s offerings.

Applegarth said, “The objective is for cannabis to be recognized in a very mainstream manner.”

Winners will most likely be allowed to display their marijuana plants, but marijuana will not be accessible for sampling, purchase, or use.

Beginning November 1, entries will be accepted, and winners will be revealed in May.

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