The Californian fields are famous for their numerous vineyards. Many internationally known wineries with multi-million dollar sales are located in the California valleys. However, since the 1960s, when the medical use of marijuana was legalized in many U.S. states, many vineyards have been converted into marijuana fields, which offers greater benefits than wine. Many young people come to California each year to work in the marijuana harvest.
Most plantations are located in the Emerald Triangle in Northern California. Therapeutic use of marijuana is currently legal in more than twenty states, and recreational use is legal in some, such as Colorado, Washington, and California.
During most of the cultivation phases, the work is carried out by the local population of the area. It is only in the fall, when the product must be cut and packaged, that more labour is needed. And this is an opportunity for many backpackers and temporary workers. The period runs from mid-July to early December, with October and November being the best months to find a job.
The main task is to cut off the tops of the plant, and one is usually paid per piece. The pay is currently about $200 per pound (a little over 450 grams). This is the harvest that is usually done in 12 hours of work, although there are people who can cut up to 2 pounds of marijuana in 12 hours, so they can earn up to $400 in a single day, but this is only the prerogative of professionals with years of experience.
During the work shift, you can usually smoke as much marijuana as you want, although it will obviously affect your work performance. Workers usually live in their tents and camp out on sites provided by the farm. There is no shortage of homeless people or hippies looking to make some money.
To find a job, it is best to be on the spot and ask directly. Since there are many illegal immigrants employed in this area, being on the spot is practically the only way to get a job. You can also check the listings on the Graigslist.com site, but most listings you find online will ask you to have your documents in order.
Remember that you cannot get a work visa for this type of work. So remember that you are working illegally, with all the consequences of discovery, such as immediate deportation. And it’s not uncommon for police to conduct raids to catch illegal workers and punish the owners of marijuana farms, which are often located in remote areas in the middle of the mountains. Even though it seems like an excellent opportunity to make a lot of money in a short period of time, you need to consider the risks you are taking if you want to work illegally in the United States.
Oakland and San Francisco airports are the main points of entry for those coming to the United States to do this work. If you arrive at the end of September do not be surprised if they ask you a thousand questions, check everything, even your phone calls and if they suspect that you want to work, they can deport you immediately.