The founder of California’s Sisters of the Valley, Sister Kate, says her bank has frozen the organization’s business accounts following the release of the trailer for the documentary about her, her sisters, and her business, “Breaking Habits.”
In an email with Ganjapreneur, Sister Kate, whose real name is Christine Meeusen, indicated she had the account for nearly four-and-a-half years and during that time “there has never been a banking issue or problem and [Sisters of the Valley and Meeusen] have always remained in good standing” until the bank sent her a notice on Jan. 8 – the same day the trailer was publicly released.
Sister Kate notes that, through the account, there were neither cash sales nor withdrawals as all business is handled via credit card sales.
“As 100 percent owner of the LLC and the brand, I have a clean credit history and a clean everything else history. No open parking tickets, all taxes paid current, no open litigation except in the battle for stolen resources from my ex-husband. There is no reason we should lose banking at this time. We have a 100 percent customer satisfaction policy and a charge-back rate on our credit card purchases that is unheard of. Less than .1 percent.” – Sister Kate in an email
Sister Kate suggests that the account closure is directly related to the “Breaking Habits” trailer release, which she said made the Sisters of the Valley “look very gangster.” The film opens with Sister Kate holding a firearm and includes shots of her driving a classic car. In the email, she maintains there are “no guns” at the farm because they are a cash-less business who farm hemp products with “no black market value.”
In a Facebook video posted on Monday, Sister Kate notes that she can access her personal account – which she has had for 11 years – but she is unable to get any money owed to her by credit cards processors. She indicated the bank would have kept the account open if she maintained a $60,000 minimum balance.
“We’ve been banking 11 years with a credit union and all of a sudden a film comes out about us and it has a gun in my hand, and they ask us politely to take our business elsewhere,” she explains in the video.
At this time, she is not naming the financial institution.
The Sisters of the Valley have started a GoFundMe page as an “interim request for help” to keep the business afloat while they find a new bank.