Legalization has left its mark on many facets of Canadian life, but one area that’s becoming ever more apparent is with respect to Canada’s “fall fairs.”

It would probably be a big deal for a BC municipality’s fall fair to include a cannabis category in its agricultural competitions. But in Grand Forks, it’s not enough. The organizers also decided to make the town’s Mayor Brian Taylor a judge of the competition, which is being held at the fair on Sept. 7 and 8, 2019.

Danna O’Donnell, president of the Grand Forks Fall Fair, says that the cannabis competition is an extension of “all the things that we grow.”

Cannabis, O’Donnell says, “has been a really big part of our area for many, many years.”

“Draft dodgers and hippies came to the area and there’s always been clandestine growing going on. And lots of people applying for medical licenses. Cannabis has always been part of the culture here and we want to show off our skills that we have been honing. It’s part of the lifestyle here—not everyone of course, but growing cannabis is not unusual.”


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O’Donnell says that her past activism in the cannabis space helped her make the decision to hold the cannabis event, and that she also cleared it with local law enforcement.

“We contacted our local Royal Canadian Mounted Police after we made a plan—and we have the support of them.”

For the competition, there are two categories, indoor and outdoor, and competitors must have grown the produce themselves.

The day before the fair, everyone brings in their entries, similar to other produce entries, and the cannabis is locked securely in the building alongside other controlled substances such as alcohol and tobacco.

During evaluation, the jars are taken to another room by judges so that it doesn’t stink up the main hall.

And don’t worry—there’s a prize—though it’s on the smaller end: $5.

Still, the bragging rights and the endorsement of the local mayor will probably be enough to spur a number of entries in this 420-friendly town.

Those who wish to enter the contest should read the Fall Fair’s Exhibitor Handbook.

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