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Marijuana-Growing Nuns Are Protesting a City Ban on Cannabis

Their products are therapeutic for the sick and ailing.

Image via Sisters of Valley Facebook page

The Sisters of the Valley are nuns who grow cannabis. They then use that cannabis to make cannabidiol (CBD)-infused oils, skin creams, and supplements for the ill and ailing. These products contain minimal to no amounts of THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets you stoned. Sister Kate, a 56-year-old mother of three, runs the operation out of her Central Valley home in Merced, California.

The city of Merced, however, is trying to stop them. In early January, legislators there introduced an ordinance that would ban the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana, a law that would decimate Sister Kate’s business. The Sisters of the Valley, however, are fighting back. They’re circulating a petition to challenge the ordinance.

“We are bringing badly needed revenues from outside the county, into the county,” writes Sister Kate in the petition. “We are paying badly needed sales tax revenues. And there are many others, like us, working in the chain to supply Mother Earth’s children with Mother Earth’s finest medicine.”

The sisters say they’re in the healing business. A number of studies reveal that CBD has powerful therapeutic effects for those who suffer from seizures, cancer, chronic psychosis, anxiety, and other problems. For the nuns, who sell their products on an Etsy page, the process of growing and cultivating marijuana, and then using it to help people in pain, is a spiritual experience, though they are not associated with any organized religion.

“We spend no time on bended knee, but when we make our medicine it's a prayerful environment and it's a prayerful time,” Sister Kate told ABC 13.

Their order touts the tenets of environmental justice and gender equality.

“It's more for me about the sisterhood and the feminist movement ... to live and work with other women and to do a positive thing for the community—and obviously for the world, since we ship it everywhere,” Sister Darcy, an apprentice, told ABC 13.

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