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A marijuana salve won best in show at a cannabis convention this weekend

A marijuana plant at the Harvest Cup trade show in Worcester, Mass.Steven Senne/AP

A marijuana-infused topical salve won the most coveted prize this weekend at the first-ever Harvest Cup, a marijuana-centric convention in Worcester that featured a competition among the best cannabis home-growers.

The prize for best overall cannabis went to Clinton Bradshaw of Rogues Island Genetics, which also took the prize for best topical cannabis.

“It was an overwhelming win,” said Peter Bernard, the president and director of the Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council, the organizing group. “The people who [judged] thought it was better than any of the other entries.”

Rogues Island Genetics, punningly based near Providence, is a small collective of family and friends, Bradshaw said in an interview Sunday night. Of their four topical blends, the kind that won at the convention is called “Sweet Releaf,” and has a lemony aroma, Bradshaw said.


“It’s nice,” Bradshaw said about the win. “It was surprising to [win] overall; to see a topical picked over flower, concentrates, and edibles. I really wasn’t ready for that.”

The 73 submissions, entered by over 50 growers, were judged on their aroma, ash, effect, appearance, cure, and taste.

Bernard said he was also surprised that a topical submission took the top prize, though he knows it made an impression on the judges. Both his mother and mother-in-law, who judged the topicals category, asked Bernard if he could help them find some of the Rogues Island cream, he said.

Marijuana-infused lotions, balms, and ointments can be absorbed through the skin for localized pain relief, muscle soreness, or inflammation, according to Bradshaw and cannabis news organization Leafly. Since the chemicals in them do not reach the bloodstream, the topicals do not produce the intense high you’d get by smoking marijuana, according to Bradshaw and Leafly.

The winners received “nice glass smoking apparatuses” as prizes, in addition to more traditional trophies, Bernard said.


The convention took place almost exactly one year after recreational marijuana became legal in Massachusetts. Many saw the event as a way for marijuana enthusiasts to “come out of the shadows” and publicly engage with the industry before it goes more mainstream next year.

The submissions, Bernard said, were all high-quality and made the competition tough to judge.

“I’ve been smoking for a long time, and there wasn’t a single entry that I thought, ‘Eh, this is mediocre,’” he said. “It was all the most beautiful stuff in the world.”

The convention also featured a 100-foot-long joint, which contained 2 pounds of weed and reportedly took 100 hours to make.

The convention featured a 100-foot-long joint, which contained 2 pounds of weed and reportedly took 100 hours to make.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Dan Adams of the Globe staff contributed to this report. J.D. Capelouto can be reached at jd.capelouto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.