The transformation of cannabis culture in America from an illicit, counter-cultural, frowned-upon recreation, to a multibillion-dollar capitalist machine is at the core of new film, Breaking Habits, but with a twist. This is a very American story.
Director Rob Ryan introduces viewers to the Sisters of the Valley, who run an illegal farm in one of the most dangerous towns in America. Founder Sister Kate and her disciples produce cannabidiol (CBD) products that treat cancer and other conditions, but despite their healing enterprise, have had to fight against the Goliaths of law enforcement and religion, who are determined to stop them at all costs.
Cheated by her stealing, polygamist husband of 17 years, once high-flying corporate executive, Christine Meeusen fled penniless with her 3 young children as her American dream began to unravel. Determined to make a living for her family, she discovered the lucrative business of cannabis farming, and met her calling as founder of medicinal marijuana empire Sisters of the Valley. Shedding her former life, Christine became Sister Kate; on a mission to provide her products to those in need, fighting off the county sheriff and protecting her crop from deadly black-market thieves and gangs.
Not aligned to any religion, Sisters of the Valley have come under fire from the community alike. Admittedly, seeing a habit-wearing woman wielding a rifle for protection is a too paradoxical image and will not sit well with religious followers. Even if you don’t agree with what she stands for, you cannot overlook her tenacity and steely nature to lead the way in normalising an alternative for scores of medical conditions for people everywhere.
Ryan states, “The fact that she has persevered with her philosophy to heal often in dangerous circumstances has to be commended and is a testament to her on going courage. She is fearless and nothing is going to stop this business woman in her quest.”
At the time of filming, Sister Kate was deep into legal proceedings to receive state recognition and licensing for their medical initiative. It could take up to 18 months to make her business legitimate.
Breaking Habits opens nationally today.
About Breaking Habits
Written and Directed by Rob Ryan
Principle Cast: Christine Neeusen, Sisters of the Valley