You can’t say you know everything about California cannabis until you’ve seen these pot farming nuns. Not only do these ladies grow some high-quality herb, but they’ve faced steep—and dangerous—opposition from a persistent sheriff and a drug cartel. In Breaking Habits, a Salon Pictures documentary premiering at Canne’s this week, these marijuana mavericks are finally getting the screen time they deserve.
These Nuns Are The Real Deal
OK, so they’re not technically affiliated with a church, but this group of women has a unique religious calling: growing and selling premium marijuana. In their words, they’re a “new age sisterhood.” Appropriately, these nuns have dubbed themselves the Sisters of the Valley.
Their founder, Sister Kate, wasn’t always a ganja growing lady of faith. Earlier in life, Sister Kate went by Christine Meeusen and had a husband and a day job. After enduring abuse and unfaithfulness from her husband, Mrs. Meeusen decided she had had enough. She left with her three children and embarked on a new journey.
In the much-anticipated trailer, Sister Kate explains, “After all the men in my life betrayed me, beat me, left me penniless and homeless, my goal was to form a sisterhood of healers.” Her group grew quickly. As one smiling nun says, “We were brought together by the cannabis plant.”
Today, the Sisters of the Valley grow and sell medical marijuana on Etsy. They’re based out of Merced, California.
They’ve Received a Lot of Attention, Not All of It Good
Though media coverage has business booming for the Sisters of the Valley, their success has attracted law enforcement’s attention. Marijuana, including the CBD dominant products that the Sisters sell, remains a Schedule I drug federally. Though California has recently legalized marijuana, the sisters continue to face major opposition.
Not everyone is convinced that their mission is altruistic, or that medical marijuana is, in fact, medical. Breaking Habits hears from both sides of the story, as the trailer flashes to a Sheriff at his desk. “They’re drug dealers, and they’re trying to say that it’s medicine,” he says.
As if the threat of law enforcement wasn’t enough, cartels and robbers have also targeted the Sisters of the Valley. This explains the guns the women famously tote around. At one point, the women had to dodge a cascade of bullets, courtesy of the cartel.
Remember that recreational weed wasn’t legal until January of this year. Though California legalized medical marijuana years ago, large-scale grows were a dangerous business until very recently (and can still be risky). Breaking Habits delves into just how dedicated these women are to giving people access to medical marijuana.
Breaking Habits Debuted At Cannes This Week
According to Deadline, Breaking Habits has made quite a splash at the Cannes film festival. Salon Pictures, the London-based studio that produced the documentary, has already received multiple offers to distribute the movie worldwide.
Breaking Habits should be available later this year. Paul Van Carter and Nick Taussig who produced the film are looking forward to other projects, notably McQueen, a documentary on designer Alexander McQueen, to be released in 2018.