By Rick Anderson
JULY 29, 2016, 3:30 AM
To the list of breakthroughs in an ever-changing world where cars drive themselves, faces are surgically transplanted and Russian hackers are accused of manipulating the U.S. presidential campaign, add this development: marijuana growers can now compete for blue ribbons in the state fair.
That’s what Oregon officials say will happen at their fair in Salem next month. Besides tastiest apple pie and plumpest pig, pot will be judged for its finer attributes, including color, aroma, leaf structure and lack of pests.
The top growers will become the nation’s first-ever winners of a state fair ribbon honoring a farm crop outlawed by the federal government. For some, the contest effectively adds another H to the 4-H Club: Herb.
“We regularly reach out to the community with some form of education, to de-stigmatize the industry and the plant,” Don Morse, chair of the Oregon Cannabis Business Council, told leafly.com this week. “For the people at the state fair to let this happen is really groundbreaking.”