California State Fair, July 12-28, Will Feature Onsite Marijuana Sales, 30,000 Square Feet Consumption Lounge

The California State Fair begins Friday, July 12, and runs until July 28. This year, for the first time, the fair will include onsite marijuana sales and consumption, along with expanded marijuana competitions.

In 2022, the California State Fair introduced an educational cannabis exhibit, as well as marijuana competitions similar to competitions the fair holds for other products like cheese and wine. This year, the fair includes a broadened cannabis competition and onsite sales and consumption.

“Hosting cannabis sales and consumption is a groundbreaking milestone in destigmatization by facilitating a deeper connection between consumers and the farmers who cultivate their products with such care,” says Lauren Carpenter, Co-Founder of Embarc, the fair’s partner in facilitating onsite marijuana sales and consumption. “Joining James Leitz, pioneer of the educational exhibit and competition for the past two years, on an expanded competition and experiential dispensary is a major step forward for responsible normalization.”

The cannabis exhibition hall will be accessible for those 21 and over, and will include a plethora of educational information about the state’s cannabis history, as well as exhibits of top California brands and farms. Attendees can scan QR codes to learn more about Golden Bear award-winning products, add items to a virtual shopping basket and purchase them at Embarc’s on-site dispensary. The area will feature a 30,000-square-foot consumption lounge, accessible via a designated walking path, to provide attendees over the age of 21 with an opportunity to try winning products from diverse farms and brands from across California.

“This initiative spotlights the significant role of cannabis in California’s agricultural industry, marking a major milestone in the state fair’s 170-year history,” said James Leitz, Executive Producer of the Cannabis Competition and Exhibit. “Expanding the competition to include all form factors and providing patrons the opportunity to directly engage with and consume winning brands is transformational for public understanding of the plant.”

As part of this commitment to consumer education and awareness, this year’s cannabis competition was expanded to include product categories for pre-rolls, concentrates, cartridges, edibles, beverages and wellness products in addition to flower, enhancing the science-based testing with additional judging by a panel of experts. With more than 500 entries—double the number compared to last year—the California State Fair Cannabis Awards is the largest state-sanctioned cannabis competition of its kind.

“The California State Fair took a historic leadership position in 2022 with the introduction of a cannabis exhibit and competition,” said Tom Martinez, CEO of the California State Fair. “This year, we’ve expanded our offerings to include onsite sales and consumption in a designated area to provide a platform to amplify California’s rich agricultural bounty and facilitate storytelling for farmers from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We have partnered with the City of Sacramento, the State of California, James Leitz and Embarc—alongside our robust onsite public health and safety infrastructure—to ensure a responsible and community-sensitive event. We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the state and beyond to this informative experience.”

To learn more about cannabis at the California State Fair, click here.

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