Pure Options premium flower is the driving force behind our company, and creating top-shelf craft flower is a huge team effort, from our “garden gnomes” working in the grow to the trimmers in our processing team.
Lansing native David Doutherd began his Pure Options journey two years ago after answering an Indeed ad for processing technicians. He spent time as a trimmer before being promoted to budtender in our flagship provisioning center in south Lansing, and then eventually was appointed Processing Manager at Pro Gro, proving that hard work paves the path to success!
Here’s a glimpse behind the bud from David’s point of view:
Q: Did you have a background in cannabis before you were hired here?
I had friends and family who grew a little bit, and I helped them when I could, but as far as myself I just wanted to get my foot in the industry — in the legal industry. I told the person who interviewed me, I just want to get my foot in the door and move up, and it actually happened.
Q: What’s the coolest thing about working in trimming?
The main thing everyone likes is to see the new buds, new strains, new flavors, seeing the shape of the buds, getting to handle the buds. A lot of people aren’t used to seeing that much bud at once, so every time I bring out two big bags people are like, “Woah!”
Q: Is it fair to say that trimming is a lot harder than it looks?
It is! A lot of people think it’s just cutting off leaves, but it’s a lot more critique-ish than that. It’s hard to explain, but it’s very hard if you go in there thinking it’s just cutting around bud real quick. It’s not. You got to take care of the stems — sometimes if you take a stem off the bud will break, so you need to know which ones to separate. There’s small buds, big buds, trim…. We have the supervisors train trimmers and then there’s a two week probationary period before they officially become a full trimmer.
Q: With 8-hour shifts, do you have any tricks to keep things interesting and keep trimmers focused?
Yeah, music is a big thing. I’ll go in there asking, “Why’re you playing this boring music? You’re gonna fall asleep.” It’s already a job where you got to sit down, so I tell them, at least play hype music, something to get people going.
Q: How does trimming affect the overall quality of flower before it hits shops?
A LOT. A lot a lot a lot. As far as the look, as far as making sure there’s no sticks. We have a huge thing that I noticed a lot of other companies don’t do, is to try to implement having no stems in our bud. After it gets tested we go through each bag and batch it out into two pound increments, and that’s when we sift through it. We take out all the shake to sell as shake, and all the tiny buds and make those into pre-rolls. We separate out all the good buds to send to the shops.
Q: What are the primary functions of your position?
I’m supposed to oversee all the supervisors for processing. Make sure they’re doing their jobs, make sure they have bags to trim, make sure that everything’s running smoothly. That’s my main job. I put in the trim numbers for all the processors into the logs, and other than that I just help out everyone in the building with day-to-day functions and try to be helpful.
Q: What piece of advice do you have for people looking to get into the industry?
One thing I noticed that I think people really like about me is that I don’t get overwhelmed, I don’t ever get mad. Like, even if I’m mad at home, you’ll never know because I don’t bring it to work. Every building I worked at in this industry, people are like, why don’t you ever get angry? And I’m just like there’s no reason – I come to work with good vibes. If you come to work with bad vibes, you’re going to get bad vibes.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to be in this position right now. It’s almost mind-boggling to me. Right before I got offered the job to be a supervisor out here, I was saying, “I don’t ever want to be a manager.” I was literally saying, “I could never do that stuff.” Next thing you know I’m over here being a manager, everything I said I wasn’t. But it just goes to show, you can’t doubt yourself. You just got to try it.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Yeah, I just also wanted to add that the community here is the best. I would not be in this position without the advice from the friends I’ve made here. Literally the nicest people I’ve ever met!