Oregon Cannabis Growers' Fair 2016 Recap
Forget the largest pumpkin or best fruit pie - this year's Oregon State Fair issued a truly historic award for the plant most likely to grow the dankest buds! Photos by Samuel Wilson.
The first-ever Oregon Cannabis Growers’ Fair worked to create a special competition in Salem this year, making international headlines and going viral as the rest of the world looked in awe and fear at the Schedule I marijuana plants in the same category as cucumbers and corn.
Nestled in the bustling fairgrounds this year, a humble greenhouse was filled with vegetative female Cannabis plants, all peacefully growing while security diligently checked ID to make sure no children were harmed by the sight of plants. Only adults could witness the truth of the beautiful plants, but what a powerful sight it was for the watching world.
The initial competition was held with master gardeners judging plants on color, shape and structure, nodal stacking, leaf structure, aroma and general plant health. Suffice to say that the top nine plants featured at the fair were all spectacular quality, but there could only be one winner per category. Ed Rosenthal was emcee.
Taking first in sativa and indica were Uplifted Farms, with Canna Manna taking first in hybrid. Second place winners were Far Fetched Farms, Synergy Farms and Royal Ambrosia in the same category order. Third place winners were WAH Farms, Sky High Farms and AHSG Farms. These top nine plants were shown to the public and have sent major ripples through the politics of fairs.
It is an undeniable tribute to the benign beauty of the Cannabis plant, and has set the stage for a huge new draw for state fairs (and events in general). Cannabis growing competitions, without the stigma and with all the honor. And this is just the beginning!
“The Cannabis Growers’ Fair was created to showcase and promote Oregon’s fastest-growing agricultural business,” explained Don Morse, executive director of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, to The Telegraph. “This is unprecedented. Oregon is at the forefront in recognizing Cannabis as a real agricultural product.”
While the scene might have played out similarly a century ago with hemp at a state fair, this event admitted Cannabis plants into the first blue ribbon competition in history. While hemp was a commonly grown commodity until the end of WWII and mandated by the government at times to be grown by farmers, its stigmatized cousin Cannabis has always been denied a place in modern agriculture competitions. So we made our own.
The first Cannabis Cups were held privately amongst growers in the ‘60s and ‘70s, with more organized versions culminating in the spectacular High Times Cups that travel the world each year. These competitions embody what anyone who has ever grown a pot plant knows: Cannabis is hard to grow, especially well, and those who do it the best deserve an award!
Whether cups or blue ribbons, events like this pave the way for the future of Cannabis and personal freedom.
The rest of the country and world have a lot to learn, and even (or especially) the “legal” state of Washington where having a single plant is still a felony.