First-ever CA State Fair Cannabis Awards & Competition Announces Winners

Historic Moment for California’s Cannabis Industry

MOCA Humboldt’s Head Cultivator Sarah Wright, standing at their facility in Humboldt County. Photo by Matt Engel.


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (June 23, 2022) – The CA State Fair Cannabis Awards today announced the inaugural award-winning cultivars and cultivators from throughout California. More than 300 entries were evaluated for this year’s competition. A total of 60 trophies and medals were awarded, consisting of gold and silver medals by division and category, as well as the coveted Golden Bear Award for the “Best of California” overall winners. MOCA Humboldt, Esensia, and Greenshock Farms are among the top winners.

“Adding cannabis cultivation, alongside wine, craft beer, cheese and olive oil, was a perfect fit with the CA State Fair’s history of celebrating California’s rich agriculture history,” said California Exposition & State Fair Board of Director Chair Jess Durfee. “We are excited for our inaugural winners.”

The science-based competition evaluated cannabis flower across three divisions: indoor, mixed light and outdoor. Lab testing was provided by SC Labs, California’s premier testing facilities, to determine the winners in 10 categories: Cannabinoids consisting of CBDa, CBGa and THCa, as well as Terpenes including Myrcene, beta-Caryophyllene, Limonene, Ocimene, Terpinolene, Pinene and a co-dominant category. Each entry was put through the full gamut of California compliance testing requirements to maximize public safety and identify the award-winning genetics.

“Award-winning cannabis comes from the immaculate care, craft and skill in the drying, curing and preservation of the most fleeting quality indicators that cannabis produces — which are the terpenes and other trace volatile compounds present in any given cultivar,” said SC Labs Co-founder Alec Dixon. “These compounds (when abundant and preserved) work synergistically with cannabinoids to substantiate the overall flavor, aroma and unique effect spectrum possible within this great plant. Each award winner exemplifies these attributes, which are what help to define premium-quality, craft-cannabis.”

MOCA Humboldt, a Eureka-based operation shined in the indoor cannabinoid categories receiving two Golden Bear awards. Similarly, Mendocino-based Esensia dominated the outdoor Terpenes division receiving two Golden Bear awards for Terpinolene and beta-Caryophyllene. Also noteworthy was Greenshock Farms which won Golden Bears for Ocimene and CBDa. For a full list of this year’s winners, please click here.

“We love the science-based lab testing involved with this competition and are honored to be a part of the legendary CA State Fair,” said MOCA Humboldt Vice President of Marketing and Sales Aaron Salles.” This relationship lends legitimacy to our industry and provides us an opportunity to educate people about the many benefits of the cannabis plant.”

In addition to the trophies and medals, KOLAS Technology SBM, a subsidiary of KOLAS, will provide each winner with a registered digital certification via Blockchain technology to authenticate and protect the award-winning product. All award winners will be celebrated and showcased at the CA Cannabis Exhibit at the CA State Fair from July 15-31, 2022, at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California. This first-of-its-kind exhibit will be open to fairgoers 21 and older where they will be taken on an educational journey about the cannabis plant as well as the history and pioneers of cannabis in California. Exhibitors, speakers, and farmers will be on hand to bring this vibrant industry display to life. (No commercial cannabis sales or on-site commercial cannabis consumption is permitted at the CA State Fair.)

Esensia Co-Founders Ben Blake and Marley Lovell, at their farm in Mendocino County. Photo by Syra McCarthy.

“We are honored and humbled to be recognized for our craft, amongst top notch California cultivators and alongside the best agricultural products the state has to offer,” said Esensia Co-founder Ben Blake. “It takes three-to four years of meticulous work for us to develop a strain from scratch to sale, akin to wine making, it is truly a craft process.”

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. For more information, 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, Inc. is a strategic marketing agency specializing in cannabis. With years of travel experience and 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.

Media Contact:

DeeDee Taft

Spin Communications