Move over, giant pumpkins. Marijuana is taking over the competitive agriculture exhibits at this year's Oregon State Fair, which runs from August 26-September 5 in Salem. The fair's organizers are celebrating legalization by inviting growers to bring their best cannabis plants to the show, according to Portland FOX affiliate KPTV.
But the plants won't be graded on how high they make you. In fact, they won't have any buds at all. The competition is restricted to non-flowering plants. Instead of THC content, the plants will be judged based on appearance, aroma and trimming. So the competition is purely aesthetic. And it's for adults only. The greenhouse showcasing cannabis submissions will be limited to patrons 21 or older. There will also be extra security on hand to make sure the competitive plants don't fall into the wrong hands.
It's anyone's guess who will win the fair's first title for best cannabis plant. However, one grower thinks that he's got it in the bag. Steven Lewis -- President and CEO of My Urban Greenhouse in Hillsboro, OR -- says that his special cultivation tools will give him a competitive edge. But he's most excited about using the competition to break down stigmas around marijuana cultivation.
"A lot of people really take pride in their plants," he told KPTV. "And that's what it's really all about. It's about nature. I mean, you can have brew festivals left and right -- and tastings. I'm all about those. Those are really fun. But...it's really silly that you can't have one about a plant that grows from the ground."
No doubt the 151st Oregon State Fair will help uproot those biases by uniting classic Americana and cannabis culture.
You can learn more about the event and Steven Lewis' special growing techniques in this video from WQAD8.
Banner Image: Whac-A-Mole and the midway at the 2014 Oregon State Fair. (Kirt Edblom / Flickr)