MERCED, Calif. - Some nuns living in a remote area near Yosemite National Park are making a name for themselves around the world due to their devotion to cannabis.
The self-proclaimed "Sisters of the Valley" are often called "The Weed Nuns."
They are a group of feminist healers who grow, harvest and produce their own line of cannabis products at their commune in Merced County.
And they use a website to sell their products to people around the world. For instance, customer will get two free CBD oils if they spend $35 or more on a cannabis product.
The mission of their sisterhood is to get the most amount of plant-based medicine to the most amount of people around the world, "while doing it in a manner that is aligned with our values of compassionate activism, spirituality and service," their website states. Their vision is to "bridge the gap between Mother Earth and her suffering people, and open up the world to the healing powers of nature’s gifts."
"We're not ditzy stoner nuns," Sister Sophia Maya Costaras said. "We try to say that to folks. We're not ditzy. We're scholars. We're intellectuals. We're spiritual. We walk our walk, and we walk it very fluidly with everyone."
Their story has been featured across the globe, from Rolling Stone Magazine to the BBC.
There aren't very many of the nuns. Their website features six.
Each has a unique background of what brought them there.
For instance, Sister Sophia grew up in a small village on the west coast of South Africa. She moved to Michigan with her parents when she was 12. She earned her MBA from the University of Michigan but always longed for a simpler farm life. She came to the cannabis farm in Merced, Calif., in 2018. She now has a full-time job as well as manages the operations on the farm and the wholesale department.
Another nun, Sister Kass, describes herself as the "first of the millennials to join the mission," who took her vows at age 24. She attended Brookline College in Phoenix and received her diploma in medical insurance billing and coding. She now oversees all the nuns' customer service and shipping.
And Sister Luna, one of the co-founders, hails from Mexico, who has a bachelor's in biology and a master's in biomedicine. Her research has focused on cancer and she has also developed environmental, social, and urban impact studies for the private sector. Currently, her research is focusing on cannabis treatments
These nuns are not part of any official, organized religion.
But they wear traditional habits historically worn by sisters in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.