California State Fair to be nation’s first to allow weed sales

The California State Fair is set to become the first in the nation to allow the legal sale and consumption of marijuana.

A release from the California State Fair Cannabis Awards, which describes itself as a “state-agency sanctioned cannabis competition,” said that the fair will “make history this July by integrating onsite cannabis sales and consumption, ushering in a new era as the first time cannabis will be legally sold at a state fair.”

“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,” Lauren Carpenter, co-founder of Embarc, a local cannabis company that is “the fair’s partner in facilitating onsite sales and consumption,” said in the release.

California was the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use more than a quarter of a century ago; the Golden State then legalized the drug for recreational use around 20 years later.

“The California State Fair took a historic leadership position in 2022 with the introduction of a cannabis exhibit and competition,” Tom Martinez, CEO of the California State Fair, said in a statement. “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.”

A growing number of states and U.S. territories now allow the use of medicinal, and in many cases, recreational weed.

Last month, the Biden administration announced it had begun the formal rulemaking process for the rescheduling of pot from a Schedule I substance to a Schedule III one, a significant shift in federal drug policy that would for the first time allow the U.S. to recognize there are some potential benefits to the substance and allow them to be studied.

“This is monumental,” President Biden said in a statement on the social platform X. “It’s an important move toward reversing long-standing inequities.”

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