There is a common misconception that marijuana is the habitual drug of choice for stoners, but, according to the Sisters of the Valley, the reality is that cannabis offers any number of medicinal benefits to those willing to ignore the naysayers.
Located in sunny Merced, California, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy are seemingly on a mission from God to preach to the masses about the health benefits of marijuana.
No priest or church has ordained them though; these nuns believe in a general spirituality and in helping those in pain by providing a weed-based product to ease any of their woes.
From cannabis designed to relieve back and joint pain, to weed created for those with hangovers in mind, the Sisters sell their wares online and with every shipment blessed before being sent out to the masses.
The pair do not stand simply for spiritualism though: they also staunch feminists, keen to rally against a medical marijuana industry in the US that has, to date, been mostly male dominated.
As Sister Kate previously explained to The Guardian: “Women can change this industry and make it a healing industry instead of a stoner industry.”
Their work is under threat though with Merced implementing a ban on medical marijuana that could see the Sisters of Mercy on the move again, or, worse still, turning their back on the holy smoke.
Perhaps that is why the Sisters decided to open their doors to photographers Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois for a profile that offers the most eye-opening behind-the-scenes look at their work to date.
Once a financial consultant working in Amsterdam, Sister Kate got into the medical marijuana business alongside her brother in 2008. A fallout with her sibling saw her found the Sisters of the Valley with the express mission of helping others through pain, one spliff at a time.
Having recruited the 24-year-old Sister Darcy to her cause, the pair now face a struggle to stay in the business of making green.
However, with the Sisters garnering plenty of goodwill from their customer base and with attitudes towards cannabis continuing to change in the US and beyond, we are keeping faith that a marijuana miracle may be just around the corner.
You can check out the Shaughn and John photoshoot, in full, here.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.