Two cannabis-growing nuns are facing persecution from the city of Merced in California. The self-proclaimed 'Sisters of the Valley' are reverently growing cannabis and exercising their God-given right to smoke. Like many other cannabis businesses, the Sisters' business is under threat of closure thanks to the uncertain future of local cannabis laws.
Sister Kate and Sister Darcey sell a full line of salves, tonics and tinctures on their Etsy page. The sisters' products are high in CBD, and low in THC. The sisters detail the process of cultivation and extraction on their YouTube channel. The sisters say their cannabis salve can heal back pain, arthritis and even erase scar tissue. The salve is made from cannabis trim, coconut oil, vitamin E, lavender oil, calendula oil, and beeswax. They turn their high-CBD cannabis tincture every morning and night, according to ritual. The sisters only bottle their CBD tincture during a full moon, after the moon cycle completes. The CBD oil is made with 97% pure CBD crystalline. All of the sisters products are organic, lab-tested and pesticide-free.
"We make CBD oil, which takes away seizures and a million other things," Sister Kate, a medical marijuana producer, told ABC News. "It's very high in demand from cancer patients right now. And we make a salve that's a multi-purpose salve, but we found out it cures migraines, hangovers, earaches, tooth aches and diaper rash."
The sisters give a prayer with the intention of healing for every bottle and jar sold.
Dozens of California municipalities are considering implementing their own bans before the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Act takes place and local communities give up their power to the state. The community of Merced could put the sisters out of business if they move forward with a cultivation ban. The Merced City Council issued a temporary ban on cultivation after a 6-0 vote on Monday, January 4th, 2016. Other cities, like San Diego, are considering legal cultivation instead.
The sisters plan on fighting the cultivation ban in Merced. "It's frustrating to me because there are all of these people with negative attitudes about something that is truly God's gift," Sister Darcey explained. Sister Darcey is Sister Kate's apprentice grower.
Unfortunately, the sisters are unlikely to find any ounce of support from Merced Mayor Stan Thurston. Mayor Thurston doesn't see any potential in the cannabis market. “I find the argument that we’re going to make a bunch of money on [cannabis] – I find that despicable,” he said. “That’s no reason to do this.” The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce disagrees. “The chamber supports responsible planning, responsible use of medical marijuana,” said Adam Cox, CEO of the chamber. The City of Merced will address the ban at the next town meeting on January 19th. 30 days later, the ban becomes law.
It's unclear whether or not the sisters will be able to continue growing their cannabis supply in Merced. Support the Sisters of the Valley.