‘Weed nuns” are on a mission to heal and empower women by growing and harvesting their own cannabis products. The Sisters of the Valley, Californian’s self ordained “nuns”, do not belong to any order of the Catholic Church and say they are against religion.
They make products from hemp and say they reach back to pre-Christian practices
Based near the town of Merced in the Central Valley, which produces over half of the fruit, vegetables and nuts grown in the United States, the Sisters of the Valley grow and harvest cannabis plants.
Sister Kate, 58, who founded the sisterhood in 2014, said: “We’re against religion, so we’re not a religion. We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices.”
The group says its Holy Trinity is the marijuana plant, specifically hemp, a strain of marijuana that has very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in the plant. Members turn the hemp into cannabis-based balms and ointments, which they say have the power to improve health and well-being.
More than two dozen U.S. states have legalised some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use, but the drug remains illegal at the federal level. California legalised recreational use of marijuana in November 2016.
Sister Kate said: “A sister becomes a sister through a commercial relationship and earning a wage or a commission and we want to grow this way because we want to free the women, we don’t want to make them more dependent.”
She said the group had roughly $750,000 in sales last year, the most since it started selling products in January 2015.