Cannabis Working Class

By T. Raabe

As California legalization spreads, there are more and more entry level jobs available and federal pay stubs to boot.

Moving to Humboldt only five years ago, I always felt as though I was getting the glimpse of an era. An era of wild, unlicensed, unregulated grow culture and lifestyle. Few dispensaries dotted between cities and countless secret grows took over every nook and cranny of this county. You could smoke ganja in the venues, and anywhere really, I imagine the dispensaries that did exist had more cobwebs then customers because every person on the street had a backpack full of weed.

Now as we say farewell to a golden era, Humboldt ushers in a new age. An age of commercialism and with it the same people, some here for 20+ years, some born here 40 or 50 years ago. These people who shaped possibly the cannabis industry as a whole are opening their doors to hired staff and government regulations.   

With the old also come the new, what can be said about these new ganjapreneurs and their facilities? Is this a wise choice, is it beneficial to the community or even the industry as a whole? A lot is debatable, but from a workers perspective and as a female voice I would like to delve into the positive sides of working with a licensed cannabis company.

As we say goodbye to unlicensed grows we also say goodbye to risk versus reward; especially for women. On the trim scene, women are subjected to all kinds of discrimination and harassment from lesser wages to flat out sexual abuse by being given options like no shirt = more pay or being shirtless as a job requirement. Strip or leave, and I shudder to think of the countless instances of abuse of power by men in the ganja game.

With new cannabis licenses being issued every day the regulations are not only ensuring we are being paid and acknowledged by the state as working citizens but we have a safe and reliable employer.    We no longer face harassment as women and to further comment on discrimination, the playing field has been evened making men also employable as cannabis trimmers, a job before usually reserved for women.

Another plus of the legalized industry is making jobs plentiful and available. Gone are the days of being introduced to this friend’s cousin’s lady’s brother and hoping it works out. There are temp agencies now dotting the Emerald Triangle with great wages and innumerable opportunities.

Any day of the week there is temp work available for planting,  trimming, packaging, and product manufacturing. As a lover and connoisseur of cannabis, I view this as an amazing opportunity to learn anything and everything about cannabis from the ground up and get paid to do it in a safe place with a legally recognized job.

The pros are as endless as the work available here in Humboldt and surrounding counties, California should continue to see a rise in the cannabis industry for years to come.