Meet The ‘Rev’ Sisters Famous For Growing Marijuana

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The Sisters of the Valley is a highly unusual ‘order’ of cannabis-growing nuns, made up of only two members – Sister Kate and Sister Darcy. Their ‘abbey’ is a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, California, where they actually cultivate weed in a garage. Although they aren’t members of any religious order, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy call themselves nuns. They dress modestly – in long denim skirts, white collared shirts, and nun’s habits – and for the past one year, their self-determined spiritual quest has been to heal illnesses with the help of marijuana. Using cannabinoids (CBD, the medicinal component of weed that is not psychoactive), they have been making tinctures and salves in their kitchen and selling the products through their Etsy store.

“We make CBD oil which takes away seizures, and a million other things,” said Sister Kate, who originally set up the business and later took on Sister Darcy as an apprentice. “And we make a salve, that’s a multipurpose salve… and we found out that it cures migraines, hangovers, earaches, diaper rash, toothaches. We spend no time on bended knee, but when we make our medicine it’s a prayerful environment, it’s a prayerful time.”

In their own words, the sisters are “not affiliated with any traditional earthly religion.” The Guardian describes their principles as a blend of new age spirituality, environmentalism, progressive politics, feminism, and savvy business practices. Their harvesting and brewing schedules are apparently timed to the cycles of the moon, and they pray intently throughout the cooking process. Each day begins with ‘Bible Time’, which, far from what it implies, is spent responding to messages via email, and social media. Getting behind on correspondence with customers is something they consider “a cardinal sin.”

It might sound like an elaborate marketing gimmick set up by a couple of fake nuns, but The Guardian reports that “the women seem sincere in their belief in the healing properties of CBD and their desire to help the ailing.” Sister Kate, 55, supposedly took to growing marijuana after going through a bad divorce. She helped her nephew recover from heroin addiction with the help of the controversial plant, which helped cement her belief in the its medicinal value.

The practice of dressing as a nun just sort of happened in November 2011, when she was outraged that the US Congress had decided to classify pizza as a vegetable. “If pizza was a vegetable, I was a nun,” she decided. “So I put on a nun outfit and started going out to protests, and the movement dubbed me ‘Sister Occupy’.” Eventually, she began to like the outfit and how it changed the way people interacted with her. And not long after, she met 24-year-old Darcy Johnson, who after a 30-minute conversation with Sister Kate, decided to join the order.

 

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