County fairs are typically the stuff of food legend, serving such unique dishes as deep-fried white castle hamburgers to deep-fried Jack Daniels alongside vomit inducing rides and games the most clever mafioso would be proud of. Soon, however, you may be able to buy pot along with your corn dogs.
“The business that’s applying for it will have to meet every regulation and every requirement of the entire regulatory framework,” says Hezekiah Allen, head of the 1,000 people strong California Growers Association.
He says the pot shops at fairs would still need to have state-mandated protections.
“They’ll have to ensure that only folks over 21 have access to the area where the cannabis is present and that the area isn’t even visible,” he says.
Due to SB94’s ambiguity, especially in regards to alcohol and marijuana being sold simultaneously, contentious voices have already begun to rise above the din of excited potheads.
“We’re just allowing a greater exposure to those unhealthy items at a county fair,” says Brook Lowe, a member of CALM, a group opposing marijuana legalization. “I think that it is deplorable.”
Currently, most marijuana sales are done from a brick and mortar dispensary. SB94 would effectively take the product outside those walls.
“I think the regulatory agencies will deal with those questions in the next couple of months,” says Allen.
Lowe on the other hand, worries there may be unintended consequences by having cannabis businesses included in fairs.
“It sends a message to the kids that this is normal,” he says.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.