Pubdate: Mon, 15 Aug 2016
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2016 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Junnelle Hogen, The (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal


SALEM, ORE. - Marijuana leaves of all shapes and sizes lined a 
competition alcove at the Oregon State Fairgrounds on Saturday. The 
plants were surrounded by hundreds of booths listing technology, 
agriculture and business innovations in the cannabis growing industry.

"People say we've 'Microsofted' the cannabis industry," organizer 
Mary Lou Burton joked.

The weekend was the first marijuana growers fair in Oregon, hosted at 
the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Sponsored by the state 
marijuana business council, and with presentations from state 
agencies regulating the newly legalized industry, it highlighted a 
number of desires from Oregon entrepreneurs and businesses to turn 
the state into a go-to region for marijuana.

"It's no longer a black market. It's a burgeoning market," said Caleb 
Hoffman of Colorado. He said he reserved a hotel room for the weekend 
to attend the fair to draw inspiration from state innovators.

Saturday afternoon, the fair also hosted the first cannabis live 
plant competition in the state, featuring 51 leafy plants. Five 
judges led by Ed Rosenthal, the styled "guru of ganja" by admirers, 
picked out nine winners for sativa, hybrid and indica varieties.

Several of the winners came from the outskirts of Salem. Danny Grimm 
and Nathan Martinez hugged after the winning results and proudly 
displayed blue ribbons.

The two men, with the cannabis farm Uplifted, won first in two 
categories, boasting honed indica and sativa plants.

They say they are planning to switch to pure recreational marijuana 
grows in a few months and are signing a lease on a new 
50,000-square-foot facility in place of their local 5,000-foot facility.

The winning plants will resurface at the fairgrounds for the Oregon 
State Fair in two weeks. Due to concern from parents that their kids 
might get hold of the leafy plants, they will be featured in a 
separate greenhouse guarded by volunteers, who will card onlookers, 
only admitting people ages 21 and older.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom