Photo Caption: A new documentary, “Trim: Women in Cannabis” takes a look at the shift to legalization in California from 2007 through 2021 through the eyes of women in the industry. (Cara Cordoni/Contributed)
A new documentary, “Trim: Women in Cannabis,” takes its viewers on a visual journey through the lives of more than 200 women working in Northern California’s cannabis industry. The film highlights the strength and resiliency of a mosaic of women in the industry, from farmers and dispensary owners to entrepreneurs and scientists.
“The film is a gritty and an intimate portrayal of the excitement and anxiety that we felt when regulation was being written and implemented,” said Sunshine Cereceda, founder of Sunboldt Grown in Southern Humboldt County. “We knew our way of life was about to change.”
“Trim” is the second installment of a five-part documentary series, “The Cannabis Chronicles 2007-2022” by writer-director Adam Ross. Part one, the 2010 documentary “Cash Crop,” focused on the production of cannabis in the Emerald Triangle and the crop’s economic impact on California and the United States.
“‘Cash Crop’ was shot before legalization and was shot over two years, traveling from Southern to Northern California, slipping into hidden indoor and outdoor cultivations, speaking primarily with men without showing their faces to protect them,” said Cara Cordoni, an anchor on the Cannabis Cooperative Economics Group who is also featured in the new documentary. “‘Cash Crop’ chronicles an earlier time, allowing outsiders a sneak peek into the ‘outlaw,‘ compassion and medicine-focused lifestyles of underground cultivators of California.”
“Trim” shifts the focus to women within the industry.
“Women have been the hearts and hands of the cannabis community for decades. As our larger overall culture is evolving to be less misogynistic and patriarchal, and as legalization is shining more light on cannabis cultivation, women are naturally going to show up as leaders and be highlighted by those watching from the sidelines,” Cordoni said. “Sadly, since legalization, women ownership and leadership is decreasing, which is noted in the film. I think that being underground actually allowed women to flourish and in some ways, coming into the mainstream is also causing there to be a shift away from women.”
Recognizing and uplifting women in the industry will inherently uplift the community as a whole, she added.
“Women have been the silent workers in the home, in the garden, in the kitchen (making food and medicine), so shining a light on the work that has been taken for granted in our culture has the positive impact of catching up with what has long been happening,” Cordoni said. “This is not new, it’s just new that we are looking at women’s roles in this industry.”
The upcoming screenings of “Trim” are being hosted by the Humboldt Grace Fire Recovery Project, the Ink People Center for the Arts, and Synapsis. Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the Humboldt Grace Fire Recovery Project, an organization offering a helping hand to individuals and families impacted by wildfires in the Emerald Triangle.
“I lost my home to California wildfires in 2018, so I personally understand the hardship and support needed to rebuild,” Ross said in a prepared statement.
Cordoni said each screening will serve “as its own community event” with a Q&A session and a drawing following the film.
“This is important to me as the film is a conversation starter, an opportunity to explore, discuss, debate questions and issues raised in the film,” she said. “I am passionate about sharing this screening locally and then rolling out throughout California as I believe this film is a great tool to educate consumers and retailers about the value of organic, outdoor, Emerald Triangle cannabis. The ultimate goal is to increase demand, price, and sales to support small legacy farmers.” “Trim: Women in Cannabis” will be shown at the Minor Theatre in Arcata on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30. A full schedule for the screenings can be found at humboldtgrace.org/trim-women-in-cannabis.