SALEM — From seed providers to a company offering mechanized bud trimmers, those involved in the once-illicit marijuana industry in the Pacific Northwest got ready on Friday for the first-ever Oregon Cannabis Growers' Fair.
Reggae music thumped from Savant Plant Technologies' display as owner James Knox, 38, of Corvallis, set up his do-it-yourself grow package, including peat and microorganisms to stimulate plant growth, among more than 80 exhibitors registered for the two-day fair that starts Saturday.
Oregon is one of four states to have legalized marijuana, along with Washington, D.C.
"It's nice for us to be stepping across the line and say, 'here we are, and we're ready to do business,'" he said. "For those of us who have been doing this a long time, this is a breath of fresh air because we're able to work openly and in the light."
Winning entries of a pot-plant competition at the fair will be displayed in two weeks at the Oregon State Fair, the first time cannabis will be exhibited at a state fair anywhere in the United States, 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."
Nine winners of the pot-plant competition will showcase their plants at the Oregon State Fair, along more traditional items like tomatoes, hogs and horses, in two weeks. They will be under display in a small greenhouse amid tight security, she said.