It’s been five months since marijuana was legalized in D.C., and now there’s a public opportunity to show off if you’ve been letting that liberty take root.
The D.C. State Fair — a seemingly Pinterest-inspired event showcasing the culinary, artistic and agricultural talents of the District — is adding a marijuana-growing competition to its lineup of events this year. The “Best Bud” category now joins the fair’s growing list of competitions, which already includes the honey contest, the homebrew contest, the knit and crotchet contest, the funkiest-looking vegetable contest, the pickled food contest and more. The fair also added a pet parade for the first time this year.
“Now that it’s legal for residents of the District to grow their own plants, we wanted a way to highlight this new freedom while also showing off the agricultural talents of the District’s people,” Anna Tauzin, a board member and outreach director for the fair, wrote in an e-mail. The event is held each year in September. D.C. State Fair is a nonprofit run by residents.
Each submitted marijuana plant will be judged based on four categories, according to the competition forms:
- Appearance: Is it well-manicured? Does it have Trichomes (sparkling crystals)?
- Odor: What does it smell like? Does it have a sweet, spicy, or murky smell?
- Touch: Is it sticky? Does the stem snap or bend?
- Your Story: Did you grow your plant organically? Did you use artificial light, natural light, or a combination? Was the plant grown hydroponically or in soil? All of this information and anything else you would like the judges to know should be included in the Your Story category below in the registration from.
Participants must submit one small bud, about 1 to 2 grams, from their plant in a small Mason jar.
The buds, however, will not be judged on how effectively they can get someone high and what type of high they trigger. Judges will not be sampling them because, Tauzin said, the fair will be adhering to the law. and it’s still illegal to smoke marijuana in a public space. The D.C. State Fair will be held Sept. 12 at Shaw’s Old City Farm and Guild, a public space on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW.
The judges have not yet been selected, but Tauzin assures they will all be experts of the product. Adam Eidinger — the chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign who spearheaded efforts to legalize marijuana in the city — is the volunteer coordinator for the bud event.
D.C. isn’t the only place to try to showcase marijuana at its fair. The Denver County Fair added cannabis-themed competitions last year. But, it canceled the competitions and marijuana exhibits amid controversy this year: More than a dozen people said that they were unknowingly served chocolate infused with marijuana and sued, even though actual pot was prohibited on the premises. (The fair organizer, according to the AP, said marijuana was not dropped because of this incident, but because sales at marijuana-related vendors were slow.)
Entry forms for the “Best Bud” competition must be submitted by midnight Sept. 5, and participants will be capped at 50. The judging will begin, of course, at 4:20 p.m. the day of the fair.
And what will the winner of D.C.’s first sanctioned growing competition go home with? “A beautiful blue ribbon and lots of glory, but also likely some swag items from local businesses,” Tauzin said.