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What comes to mind when you think of a state fair? Fried Twinkies? Blue ribbon pigs? Journey? You probably don’t think of dank nugs. But that’s about to change. The CA State Fair today announced the addition of the first-ever, state-sanctioned cannabis competition. The CA State Fair Cannabis Competition and Awards will join a roster of annual competitions celebrating California’s rich agricultural history and associated industries. Weed will be joining the lineup of wine, craft beer, olive oil and cheese. (This sounds like our kind of party.)

“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,” said California Exposition & State Fair Board of Director Jess Durfee. 

The awards, which will debut in 2022, have been developed in partnership between the California State Fair and Cultivar Brands, a California-based cannabis marketing and events agency that specializes in the creation of programs that continue to move cannabis into the mainstream.

“The launch of state-sanctioned awards will showcase the California farmer, large and small, and the incredible cannabis flower that the state has to offer,” said Cultivar Brands CEO Brian Applegarth. “We will also educate, demystify the plant and challenge the stereotypes.”

The competition is open to all licensed growers in California. Entrants will be classified by light source: indoor, mixed light and outdoor. The focus will be on the cannabis flower only, showcasing the primary cannabinoids and terpenes expressed. A total of 77 medals will be awarded including the coveted Golden Bear trophy for “Best of California.”

Entrants will be scored through science-based analysis performed and certified by SC Labs, one of California’s premier cannabis and hemp testing lab. SC Labs will provide all entrants with the required Certificates of Analysis (COAs), as well as a PhytoFacts® chemometric report that will determine winners by identifying the unique compounds of the submissions.

“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,” SC Labs Co-founder and President Josh Wurzer. “This further validates cannabis as part of that community.”

The first-ever CA State Fair Cannabis Competition and Awards will evaluate the 2021 harvest and celebrate the award winners during the CA State Fair set to take place July 10-26, 2022, at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California. The submission window opens on November 1, 2021 and will remain open until March 30, 2022. Award winners will be announced in May of 2022. Visit

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