Oregon is taking a bold step in a new direction by having live cannabis plants at this year’s State Fair. The Oregon Cannabis Growers’ Fair will have an initial round of competition to select the finalist plants, which will ultimately be presented at the Oregon State Fair.
The competition structure will be nothing new for those familiar with state fairs, set up in a classic “4-H” style. For those not familiar, the winners will be awarded a blue, purple, and yellow ribbon for first, second, and third places respectively. There will be three separate categories of plants including indica, sativa, and hybrid.
These plants are only incidentally included into the fair as part of the Oregon Cannabis Growers’ Fair booth. Sadly, they are not featured by the fair as one of the agricultural crop categories. While this may be disappointing, this is actually a step forward in the big picture.
The most recent presentation of cannabis plants at a state fair was the 2014 Colorado State Fair which featured pictures of, but not real, cannabis plants. Unfortunately the pictures were not invited back for the 2015 fair. So with that in mind, live plants at the 2016 Oregon State Fair are indeed a step in the right direction.
Don Morse, chair of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, noted the significance of cannabis plants at the fair saying, “For the people at the state fair to let this happen is really groundbreaking.” To me cannabis plants go right along with the slogan of this year’s fair; “Here comes the fun!”
The fun, or at least cannabis related fun, will be relegated to a restricted view-proof greenhouse set away from the main area of the fair in a separate viewing hall. This was done intentionally to keep “dank herbal aromas” from wafting into the noses of under-21 patrons.
Additionally these cannabis plants will be required to be in the vegetative stage, meaning they will not yet have buds or flowers. Not surprisingly, consumption of cannabis in any form is strictly prohibited anywhere at the fair, including the greenhouse and the Oregon Cannabis Growers’ Fair booth.
If you are familiar with the history of cannabis, you would already know that cannabis should be the featured plant in the agriculture category. It is widely considered the biggest cash crop in the US, and is arguably the most useful of all the plant entries.
Popular Mechanics named cannabis the billion dollar crop way back in 1938 when the magazine featured the decorticator, which was the first invention of a machine that can processes raw cannabis on a large industrial scale. This invention coincidentally occurred around the same time of cannabis prohibition, leading some to think that industrial barons were trying to ban the only competition to their oil, timber, and chemical patent assets.
If you have not already heard of Jack Herer, please watch The Emperor of Hemp, which is a documentary about his life and the history he wove into a convincing conspiracy theory about the real roots of the anti-cannabis movement. Jack is an inspiration to me personally in my cannabis advocacy.
If you don’t already know my favorite fact about the cannabis plant, prepare yourself to learn it now; We as a society can source everything we choose to manufacture from cotton, oil, and timber instead from industrial cannabis. Please remember this important fact and share it with everyone you know!
What do you think about the Oregon State Fair allowing live cannabis plants? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook!