Pubdate: Sun, 14 Aug 2016
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2016 Sun-Sentinel Company


SALEM, Ore. - People flocked to Oregon's firstever marijuana growers' 
fair Saturday, where a competition for best pot plants will be held 
with the winning entries to be displayed later this month at the 
Oregon State Fair.

The two-day event underscores how the industry is starting to go 
mainstream in Oregon, one of four states to have legalized 
recreational marijuana use, along with Washington, D.C.

Donald Morse, a pot grower who conceived the Oregon Cannabis Growers' 
Fair, said the fair aims to "demystify" marijuana.

"It's not to tempt people to use marijuana," Morse said. "It is to 
educate. Cannabis is Oregon's newest farm crop."

Segments of the industry, from seed providers all the way to a 
company offering mechanized bud trimmers, were among more than 80 
exhibitors at the fair that ends Sunday.

Nine winning entries of a pot-plant competition will be displayed in 
two weeks at the Oregon State Fair, along with more traditional items 
like tomatoes, hogs and horses. It will be the first time cannabis 
will be exhibited at a state fair in the country, organizers said.

"It is an historic event. It's a great opportunity to meet these 
growers that typically were underground," said fair organizer Mary 
Lou Burton. "We're trying to get people connected up and networking."

Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in a November 2014 
ballot initiative. Medical marijuana was legalized years earlier.

Oregon's Legislative Revenue Office in May quadrupled its estimate of 
net state tax revenues, from $8.4 million to $35 million, expected 
from recreational marijuana through June 30, 2017.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom