California State Fair to Allow Cannabis Sales

The California State Fair announced it will be allowing cannabis retail purchases and consumption in designated areas during the event’s run next month from July 12 to July 28.

Full story after the jump.

The California State Fair has announced plans to become the first U.S. state fair to allow cannabis sales and consumption on fairgrounds with this year’s event, The Guardian reports.

The fair started hosting a cannabis flower competition in 2022 to showcase and celebrate California growers but stopped short of allowing sales and sanctioned use. Tom Martinez, the state fair’s chief executive officer, said that “onsite [cannabis] sales and consumption in a designated area [would] provide a platform to amplify California’s rich agricultural bounty and facilitate storytelling for farmers from diverse backgrounds and experiences,” according to the report.

Lauren Carpenter, co-founder of the Embarc cannabis dispensary, said the company is preparing an experimental dispensary site for the 17-day state fair next month.

“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 cards.” — Carpenter, in a press release

The new rules are only possible after Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) signed into law new regulations that allow for licensed cannabis events. Under the changes, state fair organizers plan to expand the cannabis product competition to cover new categories including pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates, cartridges, and beverages.

The 2024 California State Fair is scheduled from July 12 to July 28. Last year’s event drew about 590,000 people during its run.

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