How To Cash In On Weed-Trimming Season

Advice from Hezekiah Allen, third-generation farmer and executive director of The Emerald Growers Association.

Illustration Kyle Platts
June 11, 2015
How To Cash In On Weed-Trimming Season

From The FADER's Guide To Summer


Hezekiah Allen: California is the France of cannabis. We have a specific way of loving the plants, and very specific microclimates. During summer break, plants are growing. October to November is harvest season, when all of California is abuzz with the bounty of harvest.

It takes some resources to get here, so make sure everything is arranged in advance. Don’t show up expecting that golden coins are raining from the sky, or without knowing someone in advance. A lot of the farming communities are pretty fed up with folks who show up with a sign that says “need work.”

Some farms pay an hourly rate, in which case $20 an hour is sort of the standard. But you could make up to $35 or even $40 an hour if you are working on piecework and you are being paid by the pound, because the faster you work and the more diligent and focused you are, the more you can make at the end of the day.

Before starting, make sure you are going to get regular time off. I’ve heard of people who are expected to work for three weeks straight. There are some bad actors in the industry; it’s an unregulated industry, so make sure it’s legit. Right now, having some prior trimming or farming experience is usually a good thing if you’re looking for work. Once our businesses are able to just advertise like any other business, I think there will be more secure pathways to entry-level positions for people who don’t have experience.

The hardest part about trimming is sitting still for the entire workday. You pretty much have to sit and do it. The longer you work, the better the returns are. It’s definitely monotonous work, but I’ve made some amazing friends spending three weeks sitting at a table, eight hours a day, with the same people. It’s not easy, but for anyone who doesn’t want a permanent job but wants some economic opportunity, it’s a real good thing.

From The Collection:

The FADER's Guide To Summer
How To Cash In On Weed-Trimming Season