Sacramento, California
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California State Fair to Host Cannabis Competition

Awards will be presented for California-grown cannabis flower only.

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September 29, 2021

To celebrate California's legal cannabis industry, the California Exhibition & State Fair has partnered with Cultivar Brands, a California-based marketing agency, to host its first-ever state-sanctioned cannabis competition and awards ceremony next year.

The competition will present awards for California-grown cannabis flower only, according to a press release. The flower will be tested and scored through science-based analysis performed by SC Labs, a California-based cannabis and hemp testing lab.

To determine the category winners by division, SC labs will test the flower for seven individual cannabis plant compounds, and 77 awards will be distributed based on the levels of terpenes and cannabinoid concentration in the samples.

Instead of judging entrants based on Indica, Sativa or Hybrid strains, the fair wants to recognize the plant's chemistry, as "Chemotype profiles offer a better method of organizing cannabis strains and predicting effects and organoleptic (aroma/flavor) attributes," the organization's website states.

"Understanding the variance of chemotypes is central to building an informed relationship with cannabis, and our hope is that this chemistry-first approach will usher in enhanced consumer awareness, interest, and education of cannabis chemistry," the organization's website states. 

The fair will award gold, silver and bronze medals in seven categories for each division, and several specialty awards, such as "Double Gold," "Best of California," and "Exotics," will also be granted.

Cultivar Brands CEO Brian Applegarth said in the release that the competition is a "watershed moment" for the state's cannabis industry.

"Not only will we showcase the California farmer, large and small, and the incredible cannabis flower that the state has to offer, but we will educate and demystify the plant, challenge the stereotypes, and continue to evolve towards normalcy," Applegarth said.

The submission window will open Nov. 1 and close March 30, 2022. All winners will be announced in May and recognized at the state fair, which is set to take place July 10-26, 2022, at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento, Calif.

For more information on the competition or to register, click here.