California’s ‘weed nun’ wants to bring hemp oil operation to New Zealand

Long Lunch 23/03/2018
Sister Kate in California. Photo: Reuters.

A self-proclaimed nun is on a mission to set up shop in New Zealand and Australia, which would produce and sell hemp oils and salves.

Sister Kate, who considers herself an activist nun, wants to both empower people to discover the healing properties of hemp and help change the stigma against hemp products in the Southern Hemisphere.

But don’t get her sisterhood wrong –the Sisters of the Valley are not affiliated with the Catholic Church.

The Sisters of the Valley turn hemp into cannabis-based balms and ointments, which have low enough levels of psychoactive compound THC that won’t get you high.

Sister Kate’s persona first began around the same time as the Occupy Wall Street movement – a 2011 protest movement across the US against economic equality and corporate greed. She dressed up as a Catholic nun, which led people to call her “Sister Occupy”.

“We set out on a mission to set up something that was new age and different,” she told Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch.

Sister Kate experimented with cannabis in Amsterdam while she was going through menopause, after her doctor recommended it for sleeplessness and anxiety.

The Sisterhood of the Valley first began its operation in California in 2015, which now produces and ships its products globally.

“Everything we do, we ask ‘what would our ancient mothers do?’” she said.

“We believe that if we’re gonna stop the damage to the planet and the people, we have to reach back to ancient ways that kept Mother Earth in the formula of all spiritual practises.”

The medicinal properties of hemp oil fall into that category.

Each New Zealand and Australia sale will send a postcard to its respective government to “let them know that Australians and New Zealanders are being discriminated against because of their own stupidity”.

She explained in an ideal world, their products would be like honey – locally grown and shipped without requiring excessive fossil fuels to be burned.

Listen to the full interview with Sister Kate above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.