The Green Rush Begins
A new regular column from Dasi. Dasi works in the cannabis industry travelling from legal state to legal state working as a bud trimmer. Dasi will share her experiences on LIWTS giving an independent look at what the life of a bud trimmer is really like.
The first time I heard about trimming weed in Northern California it was circa 2005; it was from a girl who spent her summers and falls doing just that, her winters in Maui and her evenings at a local Hari Krishna temple. Images of hippies pulling plants from trees filled my frontal lobe, and it wasn’t until 10 years later as I traveled through Central and South America that I started to fill in the blanks and get a sense of what this transient job really was – an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to earn great income within a short period of time by working long hours, having excellent hand/eye coordination and being willing to camp at job sites and leave the second the gig is done, sometimes with no notice. Many of them are from other countries, hence the term trim-migrant. $150-$200 cash per trimmed pound of flower is excellent money for people lucky enough to secure a 3 month tourist visa – some jobs pay $20/hour for 13 hour days.
Why Become A Trim-migrant?
I hail from New York where a woman in her 30s is expected to push 6 figures from the comfort of a heated office, and rest my head somewhere other than a tent. But when I returned to the US this past August, the last thing I wanted was to settle down to a “real job” – the idea of fast cash and then a mid-winter exit to another far off land sounded more appealing. My friend of 20 years felt the same; so we did our research, said our farewells and boarded a plane from sunny JFK to chilly Portland to launch lucrative journey without much out of pocket expenditure. That was the first of many laughs.
Anything But Easy
It’s been anything but smooth sailing. In the past 35 days we’ve been in about 10 locations throughout southern Oregon and Northern Cali, including 2 gigs that “suddenly” ended and several air bnb rentals at $50 or more a pop. As we’re New Yorkers with no car we’ve expended countless uber rides and paid off people for rides – in addition to the buses and trains we’ve had to take with our “entourage”; one massive roll suitcase, one medium sized, a travel backpack, 2 smaller ones and his guitar.We rode from a farm up in Humboldt to San Francisco with several pounds of weed in the back of a pickup trick – our driver was happy to give us a ride since people in the car made the big black hefty bags seem less suspicious.
Collectively we’ve spent over $1000 in expenses and the biggest loss was each other; we had a nasty fight and are now split, so I’m carrying my travel backpack, the biggest roll suitcase known to man and a smaller bag as well. I have $1800 from 8 days of work. But I don’t have my best friend, and the jury’s still out on my sanity. To be continued.