In the Name of Jesus and the Holy Plant, Amen! How California's Weed Nuns are Helping the Poor and Sick

29 Oct 2020
They are spreading love and healing the sick, which are values shared by many religions. As they explain, cannabis has done a lot for each sister. California's weed nuns grow their crops, use it exclusively for medicinal purposes and donate monthly to those who can't afford medical cannabis or suffer a serious condition.  A video recently released on Facebook by In the Now highlights the story of California's Weed Nuns. Nevertheless, this is not the first time the beloved sisters, who do not belong to any Catholic Church order, get the media attention.  "If Jesus were alive today, he would be a cannabis smoker," starts the video with a voiceover of one of the nuns. "We are the weed nuns, and this is our religion!" "We grow cannabis, we are advocates for the cannabis plant. We are foremost activists. We are trying to fight for the little guy and advocate for the plant," they say.  The weed nuns, also known as the Sisters of the Valley, run their business in Merced, California. They are famous for their low THC crop, which generates $1 million annually. By farming cannabis and selling its products, including CBD oil, the weed nuns help the poor and sick, they explain. They grow medicinal hemp that helps treat various conditions, including cancer and pancreatitis. Many people also call them to ask for a remedy for a particular condition they might struggle with.
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The Sisters of the Valley initially sold their hemp through Etsy. Eventually, their business grew.
They breed a unique strain that has less than 0.3% THC. As they mention in the viral-going video, they've breed out THC from their strain contents. Each month, they donate 5% of each batch to patients who can't afford the medication but need it dearly. "None of our medicine is psychoactive. It's more like an aspiring compound or a paracetamol type thing. But it's natural, it works with the body as opposed to against it!" they say. "We have our own holy trinity, that is honouring Mother Earth, honouring the people in two ways through making medicines for them and healing them. But the third thing is our progressive activism, where we are dedicating portions of every week to the good fight for the poor people that surround us," explains Sister Kate, age 61, in the video.

Who's Sister Kate?

Also known as Christine Meeusen, Sister Kate is actually the founder of the fierce nun's order. She started the Sisters of the Valley in Merced County in 2011. In the beginning, she cultivated as little as 12 plants. The 61-year-old self-declared nun became a cannabis activist after she divorced her partner and abruptly changed her career in 2009. At that time, she left a corporate consulting job and moved to California to join the state's growing cannabis industry. Before launching Sisters of the Valley, she owned a nonprofit that distributed cannabis to critically ill patients.
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To a certain degree, the Sisters of the Valley embrace spirituality for their hemp products. For instance, they reportedly work on new produce only in the period between the new moon and full moon.
Meeusen began calling herself a 'nun' in 2011 as she protested the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its new nutrition standards that proposed to label pizza sauce as a vegetable and later adopted into a House agriculture appropriations bill. Then-first lady Michelle Obama objected to the move of the Department of Agriculture, but to no avail. "That year, Michelle Obama tried to talk to Congress about how unhealthy our children are," Sister Kate told the HuffPost in 2018. "Congress intentionally decided to show contempt for an intelligent black woman. They convened to declare pizza sauce a vegetable. When Congress declared pizza a vegetable, I declared myself a nun." When Sister Kate as well joined the Occupy Wall Street Movement in 2011, habitually attending protests wearing long black dresses, she was dubbed by other attendees as "Sister Occupy." As she told HuffPost, her "nun" identity was not merely mocking a government falsely declaring one thing as another, but also a nod to images she had long associated with radical activism and sisterhood.

A fierce sisterhood

The Sisters of the Valley has, in the meantime, helped not only critically ill patients or people in need but also addicts to recover from their alcohol or drug addiction. They respond to those who approach for help. Each nun who is part of the sisterhood has had struggles and found grace with the holy plant's help, as they refer to Cannabis Sativa
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The Sisters of the Valley have adopted nun identity and imagery to gently oppose patriarchy as they say.
At some point in the past, each sister has been homeless or has had a tough time. And each one of them has found comfort and cure in consuming the plant. As Sister Kate and the rest of the nuns explain, it was cannabis that has brought them together. They have witnessed the benefits of the 'holy plant' personally and has also seen its transformative powers on others. Since they adopt Catholic imagery, the weed nuns have faced a few hate calls now and then, but nothing seems to stop them.  "A lot of people ask us, "Are you Catholic?" Well, no, we're not Catholic, we are not affiliated with any religion. We are just a bunch of progressive spiritual women who've come together. And we pray together, we say our own prayer. We are gently smashing the patriarchy by being the opposite," they say. The Sisters of the Valley remain resolute in their mission to help people and advocate for cannabis. They even have their own Wikipedia page