The Weed Growing Nuns
So, there are these ‘nuns’ called The Sisters of the Valley in California. But as you can see, and probably surmise from the above picture, they aren’t your typical ‘nuns.’ The women grow marijuana in the garage, produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves in crockpots in the kitchen, and sell the merchandise through an Etsy store. It kind of sounds like the premise for a new HBO series or something, right? “We want there to be women in every city selling medicine.”
The trouble is the Sisters have been thwarted by legislation that was passed last year – 19 years after medical marijuana was first legalized in the state – to regulate the billion-dollar industry through the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulation Act. An error in the final text of the law has resulted in scores of cities across the state passing local bans on the cultivation, distribution, and sale of the drug, including Merced, a small city in California’s Central Valley where the Sisters live.
The legislation accidentally established a 1 March 2016 deadline for cities to impose their own bans or regulations on medical marijuana or be subject to state rules, a deadline that assembly member Jim Wood, who authored that section of the bill, said was included by complete accident.
“If it was a typo, that’s great. If it wasn’t, who knows,” said John M Bramble, the city manager of Merced, the morning after Merced’s city council passed its medical marijuana ban. Either way, “it’s too late,” he said. “We’re banning it for now because if we don’t, we’ll have no local control.”
Until the law has been rectified, the nuns are breaking the law every day. “We are completely illegal, banned through commerce and banned through growing,” said Sister Kate. “They made criminals out of us overnight.”
The Sisters “are not affiliated with any traditional earthly religion”. The order’s principles are a potent blend of new age spirituality (they time their harvests and medicine making to the cycles of the moon, and pray while they cook to “infuse healing and intent to our medicine”), environmentalism (“We think the plant is divine the way Mother Earth gave it to us”), progressive politics (asked whether she’s offended if someone drops her title and calls her “Kate”, Sister Kate responds: “It’s offensive that no banksters went to jail”), feminism (“Women can change this industry and make it a healing industry instead of a stoner industry”), and savvy business practices.
Ok, I would totally watch this programme.