Marijuana trimming isn't just an illegal trade anymore
When you first walk in to Megatron, the nickname for Pink House's grow facility, the beautiful scent of sativas and indicas can be a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of small plants perched beneath flourescent lights throughout the hallways and thousands of plants spread out between four different rooms. Every day, the grow house goes through the same repetitive schedule: shuffle hundreds of plants from vegetative rooms to flowering rooms, water and fertilize plants, prune and check flowering rooms, harvest what is ready and send things to the trimmers.
More photos below.
The latter is a job so big that it takes a staff of fourteen full-timers to keep up with. They come in each morning, change into their work clothes (trimming is a smelly job), grab a paper bag full of long-stemmed, leafy cannabis flowers and start trimming -- up to 84 full plants each week.
Sometimes they get a break to help harvest or breakdown of equipment, but they spend the majority of their 40-hour weeks preening the unwanted leaves from nuggets of cannabis.
If you have never trimmed before, you may not know how monotonous and tedious the job is. It's the one part of the process that growers traditionally have great disdain for mostly because it involves staring at small pieces of green with great attention to detail for hours on end. However, for this crew and many others around the state it is just another job - and one they don't mind doing.
When asked if they liked their job, most responded with something along the lines of "we're crazy" with a crooked smile on their face and without looking up from the task quite literally at hand.
Wax Jones Most of the trimming staff works together in this one room.
"To be able to work with this plant and still make a living is incredible," says Shawna Weiman, "Trim Leader" for Pink House. "This is a good way to be passionate about it and do it right."
The job -- like nearly all in the medical marijuana industry -- is not legal under federal law. But it is completely legal at the state level and backed by state regulations. Each employee must have a state-issued badge to work at any MMJ facility.
Wax Jones Megatron painting.
As tight as those regulations have to be, the ones the trimmers follow while trimming are even more demanding. The trimmer must snip off each of the undesirable fan leaves and then precisely manicure the THC-coated sugar leaves off of the bud, leaving behind a bud that is both appealing on the shelf and enjoyable to smoke.
"It's not just about aesthetics it's about trimming each bud to cater to its characteristics," trim leader Shawna Weiman says. "It is a lot different trimming an OG than it is trimming something like a Golden Goat."
Wax Jones After trimming the nugs are brought into the scale room to be weighed and samples are taken for testing.
OG buds are tighter and more compact and middle-shaped, which make them easier to trim than a haze, since hazes are not as dense and have many more fan leaves that need to be removed, Weiman says. Overall Pink House has more than 100 strains that they grow, which the trimmer must know how to prepare in their own way to ensure maximum quality.
"Trimming is an essential part of the curing process," says Weiman. "Many people just treat it as something that happens after the fact like it doesn't matter that much, but it is really an understated and incredible part of the process."
Continue for more on the career of a trimmer.