Weedcamping. It was destined to become a verb in the full-time RVing community. With marijuana legalization sweeping the nation, the cannabis marijuana plant harvest has joined the ranks of short term but lucrative seasonal workamping jobs such as the sugar beet harvest workers and Amazon warehouse fulfillment staffing. Interested? Here’s what you need to know to apply for jobs.
Weedcamping 101 For Newbies
Even before it became legal in most states, each fall thousands of “trimmigrants” would flock to marijuana growing regions like Northern California and Oregon. They came for the annual cannabis harvest. Young and old, they arrived in droves to harvest mature cannabis plant buds and prepare them for market. Back then the harvest and its related subculture of migrant workers was always under wraps in mainstream society. But now that marijuana legalization has occurred in most states, even your everyday full-time RVer is profiting from industry growth.
In a legal marijuana world, today’s modern marijuana growers are struggling to fill a growing market demand. They’re reaching out to a broader workforce that includes full-time RVers. Their efforts to find marijuana harvest workers are displayed in mainstream publications like Workamper News.
Many in the full-time RVing community have dubbed this line of work “Weedcamping” and they’re expressing an interest in joining the boom.
“I did the potato sugar beet harvest last year received a 100lbs of potatoes. Wonder what the weed harvest bonus is?” — Les B.
Snickering aside, the industry is legit and now hiring. “We place people in a variety of positions including supply chain, operations, packaging, trimmers, warehouse, administrative, bud tenders, IT professional, marketing, packaging and every other area of the cannabis industry,” announces the Rogue Staffing company that fills jobs for Oregon’s marijuana producers.
Things to consider before applying for harvest jobs
Aspiring weedcamping harvest workers can get paid anywhere from $10 to $15 per hour to handle the sticky green liquid gold product. But first they need to meet certain criteria. Before heading to harvest, applicants should consider:
Workers must be old enough to consume the product (21 or older)
They may not have a criminal record
They must pass a marijuana worker handling test in places like Oregon
Drawbacks of marijuana harvest jobs for RVers
In places like Oregon workers must pay the $100 fee to obtain a handling license. The profitable “green rush” has some drawbacks as a result. Marijuana producers don’t usually don’t offer full-hookup campsites the way more traditional workamping employers do. Many RVing trimmigrants are experiencing housing shortages in fertile growing regions as a consequence.
“Our challenge was finding a long term RV park that had vacancy,” writes Nicole S. in a Facebook group for work campers. The fall harvest that begins in September and concludes in early November. Those interested in applying for this line of work on the road should have their RV park accommodations arranged well in advance.
The lucky full-time RVers who do get hired for marijuana industry jobs find plenty of moral support from those who have participated in the now legal harvest. In the workamping Facebook group Val H says “If you are lucky enough to get a beginner trimming job, keep going back. Experienced trimmers are in high demand.”
Are the green rush hassles are worth the effort? It depends who you ask. For instance, Rick L. writes in the Facebook discussion “That’s very interesting but there are too many jobs that don’t require $100 test so will stick to those.”
Newly marijuana-legal states like California are currently writing laws to accommodate a legalized annual marijuana harvest season. More jobs for full-time RVers and nomads are certain to follow by next year.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.