Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

These California Nuns Grow Medical Marijuana, But Their City Wants to Shut Them Down

Health + Wellness

Two self-proclaimed nuns, Sister Kate and Sister Darcey, grow and sell marijuana for medicinal purposes in Merced, California. But the future of their business is now in jeopardy as the Merced City Council issued a temporary ban on marijuana cultivation after a 6-0 vote on Jan. 4.

The Sisters of the Valley grow and sell medical marijuana products in Merced, California. However, the city recently placed a temporary ban on marijuana cultivation, putting the sisters' business at risk. Photo credit: Sisters of the Valley

The Sisters of the Valley sell their line of medicinal salves, tonics and tinctures on Etsy. Their products, which are independently certified as organic, are high in CBD, or cannabidiol, a cannabis compound that has been shown to have significant medical benefits, and low in THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the better known cannabis compound with psychoactive properties.

According to the sisters, they make the medicine based on "ancient ritual," which involves turning their cannabis tinctures every morning and night, only bottling tinctures during a full moon and saying a healing prayer over every bottle and jar before it's sold.

"We make CBD oil, which takes away seizures and a million other things," Sister Kate told ABC News. "It's very high in demand from cancer patients right now. And we make a salve that's a multi-purpose salve, but we found out it cures migraines, hangovers, earaches, tooth aches and diaper rash." The salve is made from cannabis trim, coconut oil, vitamin E, lavender oil, calendula oil and beeswax.

But now, even though the sisters feel that their products are vital to their patients, they are in legal limbo. "It's frustrating to me because there are all of these people with negative attitudes about something that is truly God's gift," Sister Darcey told ABC News.

"The city council said it needs to do more research to determine the maximum number of dispensaries that should be allowed in Merced, which zones would be best for dispensaries or delivery services and if outdoor cultivation has setbacks," the Merced Sun-Star reported. "A second reading of the ordinance will be at the next meeting on Jan. 19. The ordinance becomes official 30 days later."

Merced is among dozens of municipalities in California moving to ban various aspects of cannabis cultivation, thanks to a loophole in the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which passed in October 2015. California voters approved medical marijuana nearly 20 years ago, but it wasn't until October that the state adopted regulations for the growth, transport and sale of cannabis. The legislation was hailed by lawmakers as "a comprehensive framework to regulate the industry," but there was one "glitch," as The San Francisco Chronicle put it.

"A provision written into the law said that if cities didn’t adopt their own land use regulations for allowing medical cannabis cultivation permits by March 1, the state would assume that responsibility," The Chronicle reported. So, cities such as Merced, are enacting their own ordinances so they can retain local control on regulations.

But that March 1 date was actually a typo, the author of the bill, Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), told The Los Angeles Times. The bill shouldn’t have included that stipulation, or any deadline at all, he said. Wood hopes to pass emergency legislation this month to supersede efforts from lawmakers in cities like Merced.

The point may soon be moot. Merced city councilman Kevin Blake told the Merced Sun-Star that recreational marijuana is expected to be on the state ballot in November. “I give it a year or two and this may all be irrelevant,” he said about the debate surrounding the local ordinance on medical marijuana.

Watch this clip from NowThis for more on the Sisters of the Valley (spoiler alert: they're fans of Bernie Sanders):

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Outraged Birders Warn Oregon Militia: ‘We Are Watching Your Every Move’

This Woman Wears 15,000 Bees to Help Others Connect to Nature

Mercury-Laden Fog Swirls Over California Coastal Cities

How One Man Plans to Make Billions Selling Water From Mojave Desert to Drought-Stricken California

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Activists of Greenpeace and Fridays For Future demonstrate on a canal in front of the cooling tower of the coal-fired power plant Datteln 4 of power supplier Uniper in Datteln, western Germany, on May 20. INA FASSBENDER / AFP / Getty Images

The Bundestag and Bundesrat — Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament — passed legislation on Friday that would phase out coal use in the country in less than two decades as part of a road map to reduce carbon emissions.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Tara Lohan

Would you like to take a crack at solving climate change? Or at least creating a road map of how we could do it?

Read More Show Less
Climate campaigners and Indigenous peoples across Canada have spent the past several years protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Mark Klotz / Flickr / cc

By Elana Sulakshana

Rainforest Action Network recently uncovered a document that lists the 11 companies that are currently insuring the controversial Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada. These global insurance giants are providing more than USD$500 million in coverage for the massive risks of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, and they're also lined up to cover the expansion project.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Leah Campbell

After several months of stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many households are beginning to experience family burnout from spending so much time together.

Read More Show Less
Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less