The trimming teams helping Canada’s cannabis growers

| Aly K. Benson

BC has become well known over the last few decades for its craft cannabis production. The legacy of top-quality cannabis is possible thanks to the operation tactics, methods, and protocols carried through legalization.

Take trimming, for example. Properly trimmed cannabis isn’t a must for the plants’ survival.

However, trimming influences the cannabis’ final form, dry curing process, and potency. If fan leaves and stray structures from the desired form of a calyx are left uncared for, they can be susceptible to undesirables such as mold.

Cannabis concessioners have preferred hand-trimmed over machine-trimmed due to the risk of aggressive machinery depleting trichome integrity in an already delicate process. Cannabis is a collaborative industry; sometimes, hiring a qualified team to step in to complete the task is easier.

In BC, two main teams specialize in trimming and plant care: Green Team Solutions and BC Trimmers.

Green Team Solutions Overview

Green Team Solutions offer trimming, harvesting, pruning, bucking, planting, packaging, cleaning, pre-rolls, cloning, Analytics Data Input (trained on multiple seed-to-sale software programs), consulting, and training

Green Team Solutions is based out of the Kootenays in British Columbia and works in the recreational and medical cannabis sectors. When asked about their operations and experience, they responded stating:

“Although our business is seen as something unique or new, it is not. Trimming circles have existed for as long as cannabis has been growing. The legacy industry was (and is) full of cannabis trimmers, and as long as humans have existed, we have foraged and wildcrafted plant medicine. Women, in particular, have been at the forefront of this work.

“The process of legalization left out cannabis workers. A common misconception is that trimming is an unskilled job. Anyone who has worked with cannabis knows this is not true. Some of our trimmers have been trimming for decades. The trimmers we know are not only good at trimming (perfectly manicuring a bud) but are the eyes and hands of the grower as every bud passes through them. This is an opportunity for skilled folks to ensure there are no issues with the plant. They play a crucial role in quality control.

Green Team cannabis trimmers hard at work. Image via Instagram

“As contract cannabis workers in BC, you are required to be licensed by the Ministry of Labour. We wholeheartedly agree with the regulations set forth by our licensing department because they protect the workers. However, in our first year, we had to decline a good contract where the client required 30 workers because we would have needed $36,000 to set aside for a security bond. This is a regulation designed to protect contract labourers, and I think it is important because workers need to be protected, but it was a barrier for us in our first year.”

BC Trimmers Overview

BC Trimmers offer trimming, sanitation, pruning, planting, pre-rolls, and packaging.

Angela Marks, Founder of BC Trimmers, created BC Trimmers after seizing the opportunity to share her knowledge with licensed producers and micro-cultivators in need of an experienced workforce with the advent of the legal recreational cannabis industry in 2018. Since then, BC Trimmers has supported recreational craft growers in the legal sector and shared her experiences with Stratcann, saying:

“We started right off the bat in 2018, becoming one of the first trimming groups to work with Licensed Producers. My experience does come from legacy, but you learn fast when it comes to SOPs and working with new clients. You will always learn something new.

“I wanted to get my whole family involved. My sisters, aunt, and cousins started working together in the beginning, and we’ve carried that through. We’re a family company, I feel like a lot of legacy to legal companies are regardless of the job. It’s really important to me to see women in the grow rooms, it’s why I started BC Trimmers. Not everyone wants to work in an office setting. That’s why I was drawn to this type of work and expect many other women to start being more present in the grow room.”

Keeping The Legacy Alive

British Columbia’s cannabis culture is growing more than ever with the increase in the representation of indigenous and women-run companies in all industry niches. Green Team Solution plans to launch a new mountain-watered, sustainable growing practice, indigenous, women-led craft brand later this year. BC Trimmers are also working on plans to expand, with hopes of working alongside micros on Vancouver Island.

A crew member with BC Trimmers at work. Image via Instagram

Cannabis care, especially trimming, is tedious work for these teams, but their members hold a deep passion for the industry and the plant. BC Trimmers and Green Team Solutions are two groups of skilled trimming teams that operate similarly to legacy days. They’re called in, learn SOPs specific to the facility, and work until the job is completed. So, as much as the cannabis industry has changed since legalization, at least there is a strong, female-led, legacy presence in cultivation rooms.

Featured image of Green Team Cannabis. Via Instagram

Written by: Aly K. Benson
AKB is a biracial indigenous writer, media personality, & digital strategy consultant based out of Abbotsford, BC.