In 2005 the idea for merging marijuana and ministry came after God told Bryan and Lanette Davies to open up a pot shop. The couple was praying when they asked God for guidance after trying to live on Social Security benefits while short on cash. They were first exposed to medical marijuana when it was recommended to their daughter by a doctor. The medical marijuana helped make her life livable by alleviating symptoms from a bone disease she suffered with.
The Davies couple set up a shop in Del Paso Heights which is a neighborhood of Sacramento. The dispensary is located in the back corner of a small industrial complex. Upon entering the small shop patrons will find a table with Bibles and pamphlets on treating chronic pain with medical marijuana; both are freely given away. The walls are plagued with cannabis leaves, crucifixes, American flags, and eagles along with “Don’t Tread on Me” gear.
In the back room is where employees sell strains of weed such as Green Candy, L.A. Confidential and Hindu Kush starting at $3.95 per gram. After being questioned by IRS lawyers, the couple stated the business of selling dope is consistent with the broader mission of the dispensary which is to help and heal people.
One example given by Bryan is a patron might come to the dispensary after being diagnosed with terminal cancer or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, having being told they only have so much time left to live. Upon receiving such news it is quite common for people to become angry with God and Bryan along with other Canna Care employees would take time to pray with these patients in hopes of bring them back from a place of despair. Bryan also said he could exorcise patients who may not even realize they are the host for a demon.
The issue at hand for the Davies’ is a tax bill for nearly $875,000 which the couple has refused to pay. The couple feels that a law established in 1982 which prevents drug traffickers from deducting business expenses should not apply to their small Christian-based business. Lanette said they are just fighting for the right to be treated like any other legally operating business. The court allowed two days of testimony for the Canna Care owners to explain their claim of spending as much time serving the community as they do selling weed-infused lollipops.
The Davies couple understands that marijuana is an unlikely and unorthodox form of Christian outreach. Many Christians have reported that they view their body “as a temple” that should not be defiled with illegal substances such as drugs or even cigarettes. A survey of attitudes within the American Christian community showed that out of 3,390 Christians polled 52 percent said they are against legalizing marijuana, with the highest opposition stemming from Hispanic Catholics.
The Davies couple use the Bible to reconcile merging marijuana with ministry. These faith believing business owners support that cannabis was referenced in the book of Genesis when God created the “seed-bearing” plants on the sixth day. Bryan said, “You have got to remember who created it.”
In 2005 the idea for merging marijuana and ministry came after God told Bryan and Lanette Davies to open up a medical marijuana dispensary. Canna Care dispensary and Crusaders for Patient Rights organization make up the joint non-denominational, Christian-based operation in Sacramento that not only sells weed but also invites patrons to join in nightly prayer circles.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)