In California, even nuns are profiting from the cannabis industry

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      You know more and more people are coming around about the benefits of cannabis when even nuns are getting into the industry.

      In California's Central Valley, 58-year-old Christine Meeusen, who prefers to be called Sister Kate, operates Sisters of the Valley, a medicinal cannabis company that specializes in making salves, tinctures, and oils derived from hemp. 

      Sister Kate's mission is to "erase the negative stigma around the plant", while also creating employment opportunities for women in the community who, like her, are convinced of the plant's medicinal properties.

      The sisters grow their very own hemp—12 plants, to be exact, the maximum under county law—at Sister Kate's ranch, where they also make and package their hemp-derived products.

      Among the products offered are a multi-purpose CBD salve, A CBD-infused oil and tincture, and even a bar of 'holy soap.' Most of the sisters live together on the property.

      Sisters of the Valley Infused CBD Hemp Oil
      Sisters of the Valley

      In their first year in business, Sisters of the Valley sold $60,000 worth of product. That amount is now sold on a monthly basis, according to Sister Kate. In 2016, sales were up to $750,000.

      "No matter what we read about cannabis in the last 20 years, we didn't listen to it," she told Business Insider in an interview. "Because we new we were dealing with a healing plant. We knew, intuitively, without have the science [to back us], that it was being demonized."

      Photographs from the Business Insider report show sisters adorned in blouses, long skirts, and habits, answering emails, adhering labels, and tending to plants.

      Prior to operating their own website, Sisters of the Valley sold their products on Etsy. The e-commerce site shut down their shop in 2016 because they were in violation of the site's drug policy. 

      In California, businesses can apply for one of 12 different types of cultivation licenses.

      License types range from specialty indoor and outdoor options to small, medium, and nursery grows. The state also established its very own growers association, which works to promote and protect independent farms and businesses associated with growing. 

      While states like Colorado, Washington, and California have created markets that make space for businesses big and small, one wonders how Canadian companies will fit into the market after legalization, and if small craft growers will be considered in a similar way.