“No matter what we read about cannabis in the last 20 years, we didn’t listen to it,” Sister Kate told Business Insider last year. “Because we knew we were dealing with a healing plant. We knew, intuitively, without having the science [to back us], that it was being demonized.”
But these days, Sister Kate, 58, answers to a different, higher calling.
Christine Meeusen, who goes by the name Sister Kate, grew up going to a private Catholic school and was taught by nuns. The sense of sisterhood and honorable work appealed to her.
Sister Kate is a self-proclaimed nun, though not of the Catholic order, and the founder of a medical cannabis company that operates out of her home in California’s Central Valley. Her mission is to erase the negative stigma around the plant and create jobs for women who believe in its healing powers. In 2016, Sisters of the Valley generated roughly $750,000 in sales.
Business Insider visited the Sisters of the Valley in March 2016. Take a look inside the most pot-friendly abbey in America.
“Religion [has] made a mockery of itself,” she said. “We didn’t have to help them.”
“With a just distribution of Mother Earth’s gifts, no one has to live in poverty,” Meeusen said. “We’re activists for the $15 minimum wage. We’re not going to invest our money in ostentatious wealth when we could be creating jobs for other women. That’s the goal.”
Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia.
Unaffiliated with any church, the Sisters of the Valley wear habits around the property, but Meeusen said she doesn’t feel like they are making a mockery of religion.
There are even coffee shops in Los Angeles and New York City that offer droplets of CBD product. According to Forbes, Coca-Cola is also considering adding a CBD beverage.