Every job in the cannabis industry has one thing in common: the cannabis plant. Without high-quality cannabis flower there wouldn’t be a cannabis industry -- and without cannabis trimmers, there would be no flower. If you’re interested in getting your feet wet in the cannabis industry, working as a cannabis trimmer is a great place to start. Here’s what you need to know about becoming a cannabis trimmer, from experience and education to career prospects and job outlook.
What’s a cannabis trimmer?
A cannabis trimmer works at a cultivation site and is responsible for preparing cannabis plants for curing and sale. This includes post-harvest duties such as cutting down plants, trimming leaves, removing buds, and drying and curing cannabis to prep it for patients. It’s an entry-level position and, as such, one can usually find a cannabis trimming job in legal cannabis markets. It’s actually one of the most popular cannabis jobs in markets where cannabis is legal.
Since it’s an entry-level position, it’s a great place for someone to get their start in the industry. In fact, many of our own superstars started out as trimmers. An employer seeing this skillset on your resume will surely help you stand out from the crowd!
What’s the training look like?
The great thing about becoming a trimmer is that the training happens on-the-job. Training can last for as little as a few weeks to as long as a few months, depending on what you’ll primarily be doing and what the company’s policies are. At CULTA, our own trimmers go through weeks of hands-on training before they officially begin working in the fields. During training, you’ll be trained on cultivation practices and safety, cleaning, and maintenance procedures, among other things.
Although most training occurs on the job, it helps to be informed and have the basics down. Explore our blog to learn more about the cannabis industry, and make sure you know the anatomy of a cannabis plant. Since you’ll literally be working with the cannabis plant, knowing its individual parts is essential.
What do trimmers do all day?
As the name implies, cannabis trimmers primarily spend their time trimming and preparing cannabis plants for sale. This includes de-fanning, weighing and recording them, trimming the cannabis once the plant dries, and sustaining the cleanliness of their work area. This part is absolutely critical, as many cannabis companies (CULTA included) strive to maintain strict standards. A clean work area is essential to prevent cross contamination and, ultimately, an unhappy patient.
Cannabis trimmers may also be involved in various “side tasks” that may fall outside of their usual day-to-day duties, including putting together reports for management, processing medicine, or supporting the Cultivation Director out in the field. The important thing to remember is that cannabis trimmers are among the last group of people to handle cannabis before it’s sent to patients, so keeping a sharp eye and maintaining attention to detail are musts.
What skills should a cannabis trimmer have?
To work in the cannabis industry, whether in a bud trimmer or another position, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. In many states, you’ll also be required to pass a background check.
Here are some skills that are common among trimmers and cannabis cultivators in general:
- Familiarity with warehouse procedures
- The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
- Must be able to operate a scale accurately
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Detail oriented
- Ability to sit or stand for long periods of time
- Team oriented and self-motivated
In regards to academic qualifications, applicants should have a high school education or GED at minimum. A college degree or past experience in the cannabis industry can help improve your chances of getting hired, but often are not a requirement for this position.
What’s the job outlook?
Although trimming machines are sometimes used to trim cannabis, trimmers and other cannabis cultivators are the essential workers of the cannabis industry. As such, the job outlook is relatively steady. A Google search for “cannabis trimming jobs” is likely to result in pages of search results, but you’ll likely still face competition as you submit applications and get ready for interviews.
The industry is also evolving as it propels into the future economy, so entering the market early will give anyone stepping into the “cannabusiness” an incredible boost.
With that being said, there’s room for advancement with this position. As mentioned, many of our mid-level and upper-level employees started as trimmers. If you’re planning on leveraging this position as a stepping stone to another cannabis job, soak up the knowledge you’ll gain on the job and use it to your advantage.
Where should you look for a trimming job?
As mentioned, a simple Google search will result in pages of available positions in your area. It can be helpful, though, to use a job search tool that’s specific to the cannabis industry. Sites like Leafbuyer, Vangst, and The Cannabis Job Board have cannabis job boards which will provide you with a wide range of jobs in the cannabis industry. CULTA also maintains an active job directory here, where you’ll be able to find open positions. If a position isn’t open now, bookmark the page and visit it often -- as one of the largest dispensaries in Maryland we’re often looking for new candidates to add to our team.
Good luck with your job search and we hope you enjoy working with cannabis as much as we do!