Jones lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the nervous system that causes nerve damage in the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to paralysis. Jones said, “It is your own brain giving you traumatic brain injury whenever it gets stressed.” She has a recurring version of MS that comes and goes, and allows her to regain movement she lost through physical therapy.
In 2007, Jones became paralyzed on her left side caused by MS. Six months of therapy later she gained back movement. She then began trimming cannabis as a low impact way to make money. Unfortunately, the act of wiping her scissors with a squeeze and pull motion caused carpal tunnel to develop in her wrists. This inspired her to design something to make trimming easier and less painful.
Over the course of a year and after many prototypes, Jones came up with a design that is relatively noninvasive and cost effective and called it CannaSleeve. It is a trim sleeve that she says makes the trimming process quicker, cleaner and easier on the body. “A tool has to solve a problem and for me, it solves my problem,” Jones said. She started producing the CannaSleeve last December and by April applied for a patent.
It is just Jones working right now. She said she does a little bit every day working in an assembly line style. In terms of expansion, Jones wants to hire some local seamstresses but she said the ones she has talked to have too many personal things going on, putting a hitch in her plan. The cost of new sewing machines is out of her budget at the moment, as well. “I have a business plan in the works but it keeps changing,” Jones said.
The current version of the CannaSleeve came from a lot of trial and error. “I have at least 35 prototypes in a bag at home,” Jones said. The end result is a moderately sized sleeve that loops around the middle finger and straps around the wrist of the hand opposite the scissor hand. It has a soft cloth for wiping and a course pad for scrubbing. “You never have to put down your work or touch anything oily,” Jones said. “Just wipe, wipe and keep on going.”
Other benefits of the sleeve, Jones says, are it keeps your scissors sharp which makes for a cleaner cut on the product, you can go faster because you won’t have to mess with your scissors, and you save on resources (paper towels, extra scissors, etc.).
CannaSleeve was not Jones’ first sewing experience. She has a clothing label called Freak Botique. She makes festival clothes/costumes ranging from felt pants to fur vests. She makes basic festival attire and also takes special orders. However, Freak Botique is on hold for the time being because Jones is focusing on CannaSleeve.
Aside from CannaSleeve, Jones does a lot of volunteer work in the community. She is the site manager for the Medieval Festival of Courage in Blue Lake, taking up all of her time in the fall season. She also works with the Mateel Community Center in Southern Humboldt, volunteering for events and festivals.
Jones was born in Washington and has lived all over the West Coast. But for the last 20 years, Humboldt County has been her home. She originally came up to Humboldt for the Save Headwaters Forest demonstration, hitch-hiking from San Francisco. Even after the mass arrest, Jones decided to stay in the area.
She started school at College of the Redwoods in hopes of going in to a medical field and ultimately transferred to Humboldt State University. With two kids at home and life moving around her she eventually graduated with a nursing degree from HSU. She worked in nursing for about 4 years until she got sick in 2007. She still does volunteer nursing in the community if she has the time, though.
Jones had been exposed to cannabis throughout her life, but it wasn’t until she moved to Humboldt that she got really involved in the cannabis community. “I believe in it (cannabis). It helps my MS. It helps my mom and it helped my dad,” Jones said.
The CannaSleeve was made to make trimming easier for Jones. It is the first of its kind. Jones knows that many trimmers have their methods worked out and she says, “that is great, but for people that want to improve or explore other methods, the CannaSleeve is an invaluable tool.”