SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California State Fair today announced the third annual, state-agency sanctioned cannabis competition is set to take place in conjunction with the 2024 California State Fair. Celebrating craft, agricultural history and innovation, these awards have sparked a new conversation about cannabis, and continue to evolve and expand, with the introduction of six new product categories and 16 product types to the competition in 2024. This cannabis competition is a historic first in the United States and sits proudly on a coveted roster of annual State Fair competitions alongside, wine, craft beer, olive oil and cheese.

“This competition is yet another way California and our State Fair continues to lead the nation,” said Cal Expo CEO Tom Martinez. “We are excited to see the growth of cannabis as an agricultural commodity and allowing our guests to experience all this exhibit has to offer.”

Once again, the flower terpene and cannabinoid potency testing will be scored objectively through science-based analysis performed and certified by SC Labs, a multi-state cannabis and hemp testing expert. To support the newly added categories, the California State Fair Cannabis Awards has also partnered with Budist, a social review platform for cannabis products and brands. Budist will provide a panel of cannabis experts to objectively assess the quality and craftsmanship of each entry. Judges are required to follow a standardized methodology to ensure a fair, honest, and professional assessment of each entry.

The competition is open to all licensed cannabis growers, manufacturers, and brands in California. Entrants are vying for 100-plus awards, including silver, gold, and double gold medals, and nine coveted Golden Bear trophies for the “Best of California.” All entrees must be received by May 17. Submission details are here. Award winners will be announced in June. The California State Fair Cannabis Awards and Experience will be on display at the State Fair from July 12-28, 2024, at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds in Sacramento, California. The California State Fair Cannabis Awards and Experience is produced by Fair Play Ventures in partnership with the California Exhibition & State Fair.

“Growing up in Sacramento, the State Fair has always been a significant part of my upbringing,” said Lauren Carpenter, CEO of Embarc. “Our team is both proud and honored to present this year’s awards and exhibit. The opportunity to broaden the product categories and collaborate with industry friends marks a significant milestone and underpins our dedication to consumer education and awareness.”

About the California State Fair

Established in 1854, 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 California Exposition & State Fair mission is to create a State Fair experience reflecting California including its industries, agriculture, and diversity of its people, traditions, and trends shaping its future supported by year-round events.

About Fair Play Ventures

Fair Play Ventures, LLC, is a California-based event marketing and production company specializing in creating and executing events, properties and campaigns that help guide cannabis to a mainstream marketplace. Fair Play represents the coming together of James Leitz’s Cultivar Events, the creators, and producers of the 2022 and 2023 California State Fair Cannabis Awards and Exhibit, and Embarc, one of California’s leading cannabis retailers and event specialists.