=The New York State Fair, also known as the Great New York State Fair, is an 18-day showcase of agriculture, entertainment, education and technology. The fair was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic — the first year without the state fair since World War II.
This year, however, the fair has returned with a difference. For the first time in the 180-year-history of the New York State Fair, cannabis will be permitted in the fairgrounds under the state’s recreational cannabis law.
Fairgoers attending the Syracuse fairgrounds from August 20 to September 6 are allowed to bring small quantities of cannabis on their person, and light up a joint wherever tobacco smoking is permitted. Certain areas, however, such as indoors, on the Midway, near the kiddie park, and the live music areas, are still off limits. Fair organizers have also requested that patrons using cannabis be considerate and respectful of others around them.
Permitting the use of cannabis in a public event such as the NY State Fair is a decisive move for a state that only legalized recreational use in April. The move lends weight to the notion that New York is reducing barriers to public cannabis consumption. Allowing cannabis at the Fair also adds an economic boost, by drawing in out-of-state visitors.
The inclusion of marijuana in public events has also been seen in other legal states such as Oregon and Colorado, where cannabis has been judged in local events and fairs alongside other products such as pies, jams, and wines.