The Sisters of the Valley are a group of self-ordained nuns whose order was founded in 2014. They're not ordinary monastics, though. These nuns love weed. Headed by 58-year-old Sister Kate, the order is headquartered in California's Central Valley, where their mini weed empire is flourishing. Their bent is more spiritual than religious and more compassionate than punitive. The sisters are running a successful business and extolling the virtues of marijuana, all while living in a community of shared sisterhood.
It all started when Sister Kate moved from Wisconsin to California in 2009. She and her brother started a marijuana collective called Caregrowers but over time, she was drawn to create types of marijuana that could give users the same health benefits without smoking. After working with other women in the collective, Sister Kate found the need to create her order.
Obviously, the Sisters of the Valley are not connected in any way with the Catholic church. They aren't even a splinter group that holds allegiance to Catholic ideals. In fact, the Sisters observe no religion whatsoever. "We're against religion, so we're not a religion," Sister Kate said. "We consider ourselves Beguine revivalists, and we reach back to pre-Christian practices."
The Beguine revivalists did not believe in spreading any type of religious dogma, and the Sisters adhere closely to this tenet.
The Sisters think that cannabis is "truly God's gift." The products they create, however, are not going to get you high. Each item lovingly and carefully manufactured by the Sisters is rich in the healing cannabinoids (CBD) of marijuana. Their items do not contain THC, the chemical compound that makes you high.
The Sisters of the Valley recognize the healing power of cannabis and it is that power that they want to share with the world.
While you won't find special strains of Mary Jane or stocks of weed edibles in the Sisters' inventory, you will find a variety of cannabis-infused products designed to help you heal. They sell salves and tinctures, all organic and free of pesticides. Products are tested in a lab and rigorous quality control standards are set for every item.
In other words, they're not just a bunch of stoners cooking up weed lotions in a crock pot. Their's are tried and tested health products that aim to alleviate pain and suffering.
The Sisters are having a bumper crop. Since they started selling products in January 2015, their sales have increased exponentially. In 2016 alone, Sister Kate estimates that they did about $750,000 in sales. They recognize, however, that the current presidential administration is far from pot-friendly and could impact their business. They're worried about the future.