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‘Weed nuns’: The sisters using cannabis to heal the world

Out near California’s Yosemite National Park, a group of nuns is growing, harvesting and producing their own line of cannabis products.

Known as the Sisters of the Valley, the women are not associated with any traditional religion. Rather, they see themselves as feminist healers.

But through their cannabis ventures, the collective is known to go by another name: the “weed nuns.”

“We’re not ditsy stoner nuns. We try to say that to folks,” Sister Sophia Maya Costaras said.

“We’re not ditsy. We’re scholars. We’re intellectuals. We’re spiritual. We walk our walk, and we walk it very fluidly with everyone.”

Together, the sisters produce a line of products made with CBD or cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating ingredient found in cannabis, as opposed to THC or tetrahydrocannabinol.

Their traditions and attire, meanwhile, are inspired by the Beguines, women who centuries ago led lives of religious devotion and often lived together.

“In the course of the discussions of what would a new age order of sisters look like, we wouldn’t beg. We would earn our own way. We would own our own property. And part of, I think, the gentle way to heal the problems of the planet is to have women own and control more things,” Sister Kate Meeusen said.

The sisters ship their products all over the world, which they say are not only handmade and handcrafted but also lab tested.

They describe their mission as trying to “heal the world through plant-based medicine,” combining business and activism as a challenge to big pharma.

“I had hoped that it was one of these things, like if you build it, they will come,” Meeusen said.

“And I had hoped that the framework of what I’m doing, making medicine, would attract the right kind of women. And I have lived to see that come true.” 

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