News – High Times
Perhaps due to fate, The Sisters of the Valley—the nun-like hemp bearers of Central Valley, California—are mailing approximately 13,000 high-CBD hemp souvenir seeds to 1,000 customers under a new program designed as a “thank you” to their customer base.
The Sisters are pulling a list on February 1 from their store of the last 1,000 customers who purchased from them, and each of them will receive a thank you card and a packet of hemp seeds in the mail this spring. They expect to send out 500 in February and another 500 in March.
The Wee Bairn seed strain was “born of adversity,” as the Sisters were under the threat of having their crops pulled out due to a sudden local law change that appeared to impact their farm. The Sisters let the males live, go to seed—and ended up with their own proprietary CBD-rich seed strain. The seeds are not guaranteed feminized, nor are they guaranteed anything else, but customers report decent cannabinoid levels from the seeds.
“For a brief moment in time—2018 to 2019—they made it illegal to grow on anything less than 20 acres,” Sister Kate told High Times. “So when they first opened the hemp laws they said, ‘Okay, but you have to have 30 acres.’ So here we were, and we’ve already three to four years into operating, and every year growing a big crop in our backyard—a one-acre farm, so we can’t grow more than like an eighth of an acre outside. So it’s not a lot of plants.”
Sister Kate let the males go to seed—thinking they were bound to get ripped anyways. But their crop never became an issue, and the 20-acre-law was dropped.
By then, the Sisters had given birth to their own proprietary strain of hemp, unplanned. The Wee Bairn seeds were bred from plants of only high-CBD strains that had been bred with other hemp strains—Charlotte’s Web, Suzy Q, Cherry Pie and Remedy to be precise.
Hemp and cannabis farmers in California are already burdened with regulations and taxes that make business nearly impossible. Adversity is nothing new for the Sisters. The Sisters, for instance, battled the City of Merced in 2016 in order to keep growing hemp.
The Sisters have been giving away seeds with bigger bundle purchases of their salve and tinctures since 2019. Customers who grow the plant and have it tested report getting from 12:1 THC:CBD ratio to as wonderful as a perfect 1:1—which The Higher Path calls “The Golden Ratio.”
“It’s actually very interesting—the person who tested the flower at a perfect 1:1 was a Catholic nun!” – Sister Kate
“It’s actually very interesting—the person who tested the flower at a perfect 1:1 was a Catholic nun!” Sister Kate laughed. The Sisters of course are in no way affiliated with the Catholic church.
Before becoming Sister Kate, Christine Meeusen (her birth name) followed advice from a doctor to use cannabis to treat symptoms of menopause.
“We’re not in the seed business,” Sister Kate says. “We never felt it was right to sell them for very much, but we did sell them for about $3-4/seed and put them in bundles. We gave them away in bundles in products. Now we have so many, and with COVID causing a scare on some people, we thought it was a good idea—just to get the seeds out of the house and to say thank you to our customers.”
She explained the benefits of strain rich in CBD and THC, which often need to work together synergistically. “We are always seeking the 10:1 or 12:1 ratio of CBD to THC as that is best for our products. But neurologists and people dealing with illness prefer the 1:1 ratio,” said Sister Kate.
In order to make $1 million in sales in a year, the Sisters need one thousand customers to spend one hundred dollars a year in The Sisters of the Valley store—which is the model she would like to build other sisterhoods upon. “This is our thank you to the 1,000 customers who buy from us every year,” she said.
“We aren’t shipping internationally,” said Sister Sophia, “because, firstly, there won’t be a lot of them since our international sales have fallen from 20 percent to three percent during COVID. And secondly, we don’t want to get anyone in trouble. We will reach out to those international customers and see if they want us to mail them, before we do.”
Sister Quinn added, “We have a strong calling to be the Johnny Appleseed of the hemp industry and share our seeds. If we could sell them, we could make a million dollars, but the seeds were a gift to us from the Goddess and we need to re-gift them to the people.”
Sister Quinn and her other sisters used to take seeds along during bike-riding, to spread along the canals, and let Nature take her course, but she said they never saw any plants sprouting. “I suspect that the surrounding Mennonite farmers pull them as soon as they are recognizable. Or maybe the dogs eat them,” said Sister Quinn. “Mailing them to customers who already appreciate the medicine is a more certain way of knowing those seeds will be nurtured.”
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