sisters of the valley marijuana nuns 7035Melia Robinson"This is the Wild West," says Sister Darcy. "We're not growing dandelions."

Less than a year ago, Darcy Johnson, 24, was flipping burgers at a Jack In The Box. She attended a community college near her home in Washington state, and grew marijuana plants in the backyard. Then a mutual friend introduced her to Sister Kate, a spirited older woman who, at the height of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, began dressing like a nun in protest of US Congress declaring pizza a vegetable. The media dubbed her Sister Occupy for her methods of bringing attention to political issues.

Sister Kate, whose real name is Christine Meeusen, wanted to start a medicinal cannabis company that erased the negative stigma around the plant and united women who believed in its healing powers. After a 30-minute call, Johnson was sold. She traded her jeans and flannel for a habit and migrated to California.

"When people say, 'Well, they're not real nuns,' my answer is there are no nuns. They're going extinct in this country," Sister Kate says. "If you look up what makes up a sister, there are five elements. ... We live together, we wear the same clothes, we take a vow of obedience to the moon cycles, we take a vow of chastity (which we don't think requires celibacy), and a vow of ecology, which is a vow to do no harm while you're making your medicine."

Today, Sisters of the Valley run a wildly successful store selling cannabis products on Etsy, netting sales as high as $40,000 a month. The sisters anticipate raking in between $400,000 and $500,000 in 2016, though most of the profit will be reinvested in product to make larger batches.

After new legislation rendered the operation illegal in their original location, the sisters packed up their 12 plants, three cats, and vast candle collection and moved to a pot-friendly town in Merced County, California, where Tech Insider caught up with them.

UPDATE: After this article was published on March 24, the Sisters of the Valley online store was removed from Etsy. To learn more about their products, you can reach the sisters on Facebook.

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