History-Making Best Bud Contest Returns to DC State Fair

The DC State Fair will once again honor the legalization of marijuana in the nation’s capital by inviting District of Columbia residents to enter their prized buds in the Fair’s second annual “Best Bud” cannabis contest.

Last year, the DC State Fair made history with its Best Bud contest, marking the first time a state fair had ever judged cannabis. National press and late-night talk show hosts took notice, and the Fair started a trend: this year, the Oregon State Fair will also host a cannabis competition! But the DC State Fair did it first, and is still doing it best.

A judge examines entries during the first round of the 2015 DC State Fair Best Bud contest. Photo by Joe Morcos.


Preliminary judging of the Best Bud contest will take place one week before the DC State Fair at a free event that will be open to contestants. Five finalists will be judged on five growing criteria (including sight, smell, touch, cure and trim) on the main stage of the Fair on August 28. Points will be deducted for evidence of pests.

Contest entries are limited to 100. Only District of Columbia residents aged 21 or older are permitted to enter and compete in the Best Bud contest. Cannabis industry professionals are excluded from the competition. Registration ends on August 18.

Judges will not consume cannabis. In accordance with current District of Columbia law, which prevents cannabis consumption at events to which the public is invited, cannabis consumption at the Fair is prohibited.

“We have seen a huge amount of new and experienced growers supporting cannabis gardening since the passage of Prop 71 in 2015,” said Chris Washburn, owner and founder of Let’sGrowDC, a District-based indoor urban gardening center. “Friendly local competition like we have here will surely push the quality and prevalence of high-grade cannabis throughout the District. Let’sGrowDC! is very excited to once again be a sponsor of the annual DC State Fair Best Bud contest.”

“The response to last year’s Best Bud contest was enormous, and fairgoers made it clear to us that they want the Best Bud contest to be a regular part of the DC State Fair,” said Jenn Nichols, president of the DC State Fair’s board of directors. “Local advocates have worked toward marijuana legalization for a long time, and now work continues to educate residents about their rights under the new legalization laws. Teaching District residents about sustainable, urban agriculture–in all its forms–is a big part of the DC State Fair’s mission, and recreational cannabis growers must master the same kinds of skills as urban farmers growing tomatoes and squash.”

Questions about the Best Bud Contest? Read the registration form or contact Jenn Nichols at jenn@thedcstatefair.org.


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