A group of nuns make $1.1 million each year by growing and selling cannabis products to heal people.
The Sisters of the Valley – a community of nuns in Merced County, California – started eight years ago with just twelve plants, but has since expanded into an international, million-dollar operation.
Their operation is so successful, in fact, a documentary about the nuns has been made by a British filmmaker and is being released today to celebrate 4/20.
The film, Breaking Habits, directed by Rob Ryan, explores the history and survival of the nuns – in particular Sister Kate Meeusen, who started the Sisters of the Valley.
Sister Kate, 60, who resides in Merced County with her community of sisters, has attempted to cure eight people of addictions using her CBD products – and says every single one has recovered.
The 60-year-old said:
We have a 100 per cent success rate in curing people of their addictions. Admittedly we don’t have a huge sample size; we worked with eight people who were addicted to either alcohol, tobacco or meth, but they all got better.
That’s a better success rate than Alcoholics Anonymous.
Sister Kate, who used to work as a corporate executive before turning to weed farming, says that despite the fact she’s ‘sick of’ the film after seeing it so many times, she’s ‘happy’ everyone else likes it.
The film will explore how Sister Kate and her team have fought bitterly against ‘white man rule,’ including the obstructionist county sheriff and black market thieves.
Sister Kate explained:
We don’t like the white man rule. Farm people are very slow to adapt to new ideas, people are stuck in the 1950’s with their ideas towards the cannabis plant for medicinal use.
The nuns use CBD to treat everything from epilepsy to cancer, with Sister Kate describing cannabis as a ‘wonderfully healing plant’.
It’s a wonderfully healing plant, gradually the world is starting to open up to the idea of cannabis as medicine, rather than treating it as a dangerous drug.
And the documentary is just one part of the nuns’ plans for world expansion of their medical-marijuana empire, with Sister Kate saying they intend to have enclaves in every town and province in the next 20 years.
On Monday (April 22), the activist nuns will be protesting the ecclesiastical privileges, which allow some abuse to go unreported.
Sister Kate explained:
We are accustomed to fighting for the rights of the marginalised. It’s an important bill that would allow California to join some twenty-other states and Canada in denying this privilege as an excuse for not reporting abuse.
If a clergy-person, an elder, a priest, a pastor sees abuse, they must report it. Just like cops and nurses and teachers are required to do.
They don’t get to hide behind their sacred code of protecting one another anymore. It is the age of the divine feminine and there is no divinity in harming children. There is no divinity in granting men access to children for perverse victimization, for ruination of their lives.
Yet, these male-run, male-founded, male-protected organizations don’t want us messing with their privileges.
The film’s director, Rob Ryan, says Sister Kate’s fight to change the cannabis industry from ‘stoner to healer’ is genuine and heartfelt.
Hopefully the nuns’ success will only continue as they continue to help more people in need.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).