Sweet Leaf Map Festival comes to HMS

By: 
BRANDY TEMPLETON
Staff Writer

It’s a first of its kind festival for Catawba County.  The Sweet Leaf Map Festival is scheduled for Friday July 5 and Saturday July 6 at the Hickory Motor Speedway.

The festival will have multiple vendors, live music, comedians, a car show, a premium bar, and speakers.

“We will be speaking about the benefits of hemp and CBD, along with sustainable living ideas, and tiny houses,” organizer Marlene Jones said. 

Former pro boxer James “Bonecrusher” Smith will be talking about his usage of CBD oil also.

Jones has high hopes for the turnout. 

“There will be a lot of doctors, lawyers, and business people at the festival,” she said.  “This is a new wave.”

Jones says that CBD can be used by all age groups including children.  It can also be used on all mammals including dogs.

“My daughter uses it for her eczema, and my 95 year old grandmother uses my products,” she said. 

Jones has been growing hemp for quite some time in Catawba County and says it’s a great opportunity to grow it here. 

“North Carolina wants to be known for growing hemp,” she said.  “It’s great medicine that’s not going to get you high.”

Jones said there’s so many people that want to grow it and use it.

“I had a friend that was limping the other day and I gave him some CBD oil to use on his hip,” she said.  “He came back to me fine and said, ‘This is impossible.’”

Jones, 49, is an advocate for growing marijuana and hemp.

“It’s about getting better and feeling better,” she said.  “I first started growing medicinal marijuana in California and Michigan, but I’m allowed to use the hemp in North Carolina.”

Jones got her license to grow it in North Carolina in 2018. 

“I harvest before the THC comes in, so the CBD levels stay high and the THC levels stay low,” she said. 

She hopes one day she’ll be able to grow the medicinal marijuana again though.

“I absolutely don’t mind growing marijuana,” Jones said.  “There’s so many people with cancer who could use it.”

She had a friend with stage four cancer who moved to Washington State just to be able to use medicinal marijuana. 

“I’m still talking to her 10 years later,” Jones said.  “All she did different was use Cannabis.”

For the future, Jones wants to open a unique store where people can come and get information on her products.  She also hopes to give tours, and hopes to convince more farmers to jump on board the CBD train. 

‘There’s a lot of land in Catawba County for farmers to start growing hemp,” she said. “This is a great area to do it.”

 To check out or purchase Jones’ products, visit phoenixfirestore.com.

 Tickets are $10.

 Those interested can call 844-559-5500.

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