CA State Fair Announces First-ever Cannabis Competition

California’s Legalized Cannabis Industry Celebrates Inclusion

SACRAMENTO, Calif., (September 21, 2021) – The CA State Fair today announced the addition of the first-ever, state-sanctioned cannabis competition and awards. The CA State Fair Cannabis Competition and Awards will join a roster of coveted, annual competitions celebrating California’s rich agricultural history and dynamic industries including wine, craft beer, olive oil and cheese.

“We are pleased to celebrate California’s legal and licensed cannabis industry as part of the CA State Fair in 2022,” said California Exposition & State Fair Board of Director Jess Durfee. “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.”

In 2018, commercial cannabis became legal in the State of California for adult use and since that time has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry. The awards have been developed in partnership between the California Exhibition & State Fair and Cultivar Brands, a California-based cannabis marketing and events agency who specializes in the creation of programs that continue to move cannabis into the mainstream.

“The launch of state-sanctioned awards is a watershed moment for the Californian cannabis industry,” said Cultivar Brands CEO Brian Applegarth. “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.”

The competition is open to all licensed growers in California. Entrants will be classified into three classifications representing three primary divisions for submission by light source: Indoor, Mixed Light and Outdoor. The competition will award medals for the cannabis flower only, showcasing the primary cannabinoids and terpenes expressed in the cannabis flower. Seven individual cannabis plant compounds will be tested and identified for awards. Based on the levels of cannabinoid and terpenes concentration, 77 bronze, silver, gold and double gold medals will be awarded including the coveted Golden Bear trophy for “Best of California.”

The competition will be scored objectively, 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 identify all the unique compounds of the submission to determine the award winners.

“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 just further validates cannabis as part of that community. As a cannabis scientist, it’s really cool to see an event like this putting the data and analytics at the forefront of the process. It’s making a big leap forward for the application of quantitative cannabis testing to actually measure the qualitative aspects of cannabis.”

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.

This historic moment has arrived, and cannabis is now officially part of the CA State Fair, one of the world’s largest state fairs. For more information on the CA Cannabis Competition and Awards, visit

About the CA State Fair

The CA State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs worldwide. The CA State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology, and the diversity of its people, traditions, and trends that shape the Golden State’s future.

About Cultivar Brands, Inc.

Cultivar Brands is a multi-faceted strategic marketing agency specializing in cannabis. With years of travel experience and a proprietary research and insights, Cultivar Brands offers thought-leadership at the forefront of the cannabis travel trend. Our brand consulting and events divisions foster deep relationships within the cannabis and hemp industries, offering our clients and partners decades of campaign development and event management expertise.

About SC Labs

Maintaining and progressing the highest standards is a core value of SC Labs. Since the laboratory was established in 2010, we have pioneered and championed rigorous testing standards to improve product safety and quality in a transformative manner. We know that our results empower thousands of companies to make smart and informed decisions about product purity, safety, and consistency. We demonstrate that our commitment to quality is always advocated and maintained ethically and responsibly. Following industry best practices, we maintain licensure and accreditations from multiple state agencies and governing bodies.

Media Contact:

DeeDee Taft

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*PhytoFacts is a registered trademark of Napro Research, LLC.