They sit for hours at a time, hunched over tables with scissors in one hand and marijuana in the other. The work is tedious, but it pays well — for now. This once mostly black market trade is slowly becoming more regulated, hindering the flow of quick under-the-table cash.
Hours meld, the sound of snipping and sticky scissors clinking when they are dipped in jars of alcohol as the workers groom the weed.
Most people sitting around this table in Mendocino County are migrant workers. They flood into the region during the cannabis harvest in the fall. They are the trimmers, those hired to cut marijuana for hours on end. Many trimmers in the county looking for work this season have come from all over the U.S. and all over the rest of the world, including Spain, France, Portugal and Switzerland.
“You want to get all the big leaf — and all the leaf — off the flower stuff so it shows in a beautiful way,” said cannabis farmer Tim Blake. “You really want to trim it perfectly if you’re going to sell it.”