A new North American beauty pageant targeting the cannabis market has just opened for applications—but only for “unwed” and “natural born” females involving the ages 18 to 30.

According to the official website, Miss Marijuana, or Miss MJ, is “the variety of girl all the guys want, and all the girls want to be pals with” and the platform “gives you the chance to be the activist you have often dreamed of.”

Up for grabs is the crown and title of Miss Marijuana, $25,000, and a car—but not the branded Jeep Rubicon posted on the website, mainly because that is just to show applicants what a car or truck appears like.

If accepted, contestants will upload a profile to be digitally polled by the common public. The on line voting will take location for six to seven weeks and the 53 females with the highest votes—one for every single American state and a single from Canada—will then proceed to the final contest in Los Vegas, Nevada. The finale will consist of a single “personal interview question”, and two catwalks—in a swimsuit and an evening gown.

“It’ll be a style show, it’ll be a concert—lotta entertaining, I hope,” says Howard Baer, the pageant’s founder, to the Georgia Straight on the telephone.

“We have so quite a few signed up from Canada that it appears like we may possibly have to break it up into provinces. Initially, we had been going to do it just as a single, but we have more than 500 from there now.”

Baer says the pageant has surpassed five,200 interested contestants.

Outdated eligibility standards

Though the website says “Miss Marijuana gives an equal chance for any lady interested” such as models, seasoned beauty pageant contestants, and “non-models” aspiring to break into industry—the recommendations exclude any person married, or gender-fluid and non-conforming.

When asked about the specifications, Baer calls the single, or unwed, prerequisite a “normal” criterion for Miss or Ms pageants.

“The most significant cause for that is mainly because when you are functioning with married females in certain, these days it is possibly the same…we want her to be in a position to travel for the subsequent year, and be at the dispensaries…events and so forth,” he says. “It’s fairly challenging for a married lady to do that. She does not have the freedom to do that.”

As far as contestants required to be “naturally born women”, Baer says that is far more of a “personal thing”.

“In my mind…I’ve got a 14-year-old granddaughter…and the way factors are, specifically with the transgenders, you have definitely do not know what you have,” he says, trailing into a story he lately study about a transgender lady charged with assault in the U.K.

“He worked his way into women’s events, and what not. So, they sent him to jail, and in England there is a jail for transgenders especially, and he raped two females there.”

The lady Baer is referring to is Karen White—a 52-year-old transgender lady sentenced to life for sexually assaulting two inmates in New Hall prison in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. The assaults took location in September and October of 2017 right after White had been arrested on suspicion of stabbing a neighbor.

When asked how that incident associated back to his beauty pageant, Baer stated: “I do not want the girls to be nervous about somebody that is in their space with them. The only a single that permits that now is Miss Universe. I’ve study great and negative about it. I’ve study they’re regretting it. I’ve study that they’re not. But the majority of them [pageants] are not and I want to go with what I feel is the regular point to do.”

He adds: “I do not want to place the girls in a position that they really feel uncomfortable, mainly because there are going to be a lot of young girls there and I just do not want to do that.”

Even so, when other folks have attempted to market events solely for “women born women”, they have met fierce resistance from the trans neighborhood. Trans men and women have won key victories with legislation in Canada guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

Furthermore, college districts have also introduced measures to protect against bullying of trans children.

These outdated requirements are absolutely nothing new for beauty competitions. In reality, they harken back to the 1930s when contestants had been asked to shield their faces for the bathing suit portion—opting either for a bag or a mask that looked like a inexpensive knockoff prop from the Hannibal Lecter franchise. The intention was to draw interest away from the face so judges could better focus on the women’s bodies. Inquiries about the validity and relevance of these guidelines are becoming increasingly poignant in the diversifying North American culture, but with legalization Baer sees this as an chance to reinvigorate the old rituals.

“I purchased the domain eight, nine, ten years ago, or a thing like that. The timing wasn’t correct for it. The timing is correct now, so we’re undertaking it.”

A now-outdated press release shows an try at hosting the pageant in 2014. When asked why it in no way came to fruition, Baer says it didn’t get adequate interest.

“Now that cannabis in the U.S. is becoming legalized, and in Canada, it is a entire diverse story. We get 50, 60, 70 girls signing up every single day and we’re not even advertising it other than a tiny bit on Facebook.”

A rapid verify validates the event’s dismal lack of social media presence. The pageant’s Twitter page has only garnered a couple hundred followers with seemingly no interactions, when the official Facebook page has fewer than four,000 likes and followers.

Capitalizing on a legalization trend

Beneath the name Papa Baer Productions, Baer has many other companies relating to the cannabis space. 1 is a social media platform titled MarijuanaSelfies, a polling-primarily based web-site totally populated by cellphone photos of young, desirable, and half-naked females posing with weed. Customers upload selfies that can then be voted on for weekly money prizes. Baer also has a clothes line launched in 2017 called Smoke 10, which is described as “the 1st complete clothes line committed strictly to the cannabis industry”.

“What drew me to it [the cannabis industry] was that I began obtaining domains about 10 or 12 years ago, and we took some of these domains and produced them into web pages. And we just kept expanding,” he says. Baer clarifies that he has no individual attachment to cannabis, but owns practically 230 weed-associated domains, such as Miss Marijuana for every single nation in the Miss Globe pageant.

“Chile, Peru, I personal all of them. If this functions out, I’ll take it international in the subsequent year or two years. It’ll turn out to be an international pageant.”

What precisely about Miss Marijuana relates cannabis? Not a great deal, according to Baer.

Contemplating the U.S. currently operates as a puzzle of different stages of legality, he says “the girls” do not have to admit to smoking weed or even know a great deal about the plant to be eligible.

“A lot of the girls ask me about that. There is no use of the solution in the pageant there is no requirement of anyone. They just have to be pro- marijuana. In other words, they cannot be against it. They have to be advocates,” he says.

“We’re not going to be smoking we’re not going to have it [pot] on-website. I do not want the duty. And I do not want the girls to really feel like they have to do a thing they do not want to do. It is a name. It is a brand name.”

Though Baer says the pageant will not have any weed on-website, or market its use, he did take the chance to market the pageant’s new CBD beauty line, which contains cannabis infused gummies, serums, and moisturizers. And the prize packs for each Miss MJ and the 3 runners-up apparently include goods from the best brands in the market.

“That’s [beauty products] launching in a couple of weeks. Fantastic goods.”