California’s legal weed farms are replacing trimmigrants with immigrants

Rising tensions highlight the problems with the agriculture industry’s reliance on a mostly undocumented workforce.
April 19, 2018, 2:25pm
Brian Frank for VICE News

Oscar Salas tends the cannabis plants at Gold Coast farm in Watsonville, California. Legal cannabis farmers in California's Central Valley are hiring Mexican workers away from traditional agriculture operations, exacerbating a labor shortage. (Brian Frank for VICE News)Owner Jon Friesell at his Gold Coast Cannabis farm in Watsonville, California. His family grew flowers in the area for generations. (Brian Frank for VICE News)Farm workers Maria Cordoba and Emelia Martinez take a break in the break room at Gold Coast Cannabis. The pay is better and the hours more regular than work in nearby berry farms. (Brian Frank for VICE News)Edmundo Silva on a break from work at Gold Coast Cannabis. He used to work for the grower’s flower business. (Brian Frank for VICE News)Workers transplant cannabis clones at Gold Coast Cannabis. (Brian Frank for VICE News)