Fall fairs are known for chilli cook-offs and apple pie contests – but one Kootenay city has added a “budding” new category for its local growers.
Canada’s latest legal crop will have two categories of its own next month at the 109th Grand Forks & District Fall Fair, where cannabis will be scrutinized, inspected and maybe even burned “if necessary,” according to a news release from organizers.
“Cannabis has been growing in the Boundary area for decades by licensed producers and many backyard enthusiasts,” the release reads. “The time has come to recognize the horticultural skills it takes to do this well.”
The fair will host separate categories for bud grown indoors and outdoors.
Entries will be judged based on their look, smell and how well they smoulder, after being publicly displayed in tightly sealed glass jars “to control the smell.”
Local growers can submit between three and five grams’ worth of dried cannabis flower to be judged.
Among the judges will be Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor, who has advocated for Grand Forks to become a “cannabis-friendly” community during his tenure.
“We need to recognize cannabis as another viable agricultural product,” said The Cannabis Party of Canada co-founder.
As far as judging goes, Taylor brings decades of experience. “I think my 25 years with cannabis makes me credible [as a judge],” he said.
In the controlled burning test, he said, judges will watch to see that the cannabis does not blacken. Along with the smell and look categories, Taylor said that it should make for a well-rounded evaluation, noting that the judges will stop short of smoking up.
“We’re not going to smoke a joint and see if it gets us stoned,” he said.
Organizers made it clear that the judging – including the burning portion – will take place off-site in an area “not regulated by smoking bylaws.” They also said that local RCMP are supportive of the initiative.
The fall fair runs Sept. 7 to 8 in Grand Forks.