Got Work? Marijuana Manicurists Arriving in Humboldt

marijuana trimmer

Got Pot?

The annual migration starts.

In spite of indoor marijuana coming in all year round, September and October–traditional harvest months for outdoor pot plants–bring a flood of people from all over hoping to cash in on manicuring work.  The jobs are rumored to pay $250 per pound of finished product with lots of free smoke and organic munchies. A good manicurist working with primo pot can sometimes do 2 pounds per day.

This man and his two female companions sat across from a local grocery store on the main road taking turns holding up the sign.  I can’t imagine who hires strangers to come into their home to deal with an illegal crop but I fiound the trio oddly endearing and incredibly optimistic–buoyant even.

For other photos of the seasonal workers of Humboldt, go here, here, and here



  • …not to mention identifiable by that sweater, no doubt.

  • Last fall, I learned from an interview Larry did on KHUM that women can make extra money by trimming topless. Good thing its warmer in SoHum … in Eureka, we girls keep our racks under wraps.

  • Beachcomber,
    That is a new one on me….I’ve never heard of topless manicurists. Sounds kind of scratchy.

  • A couple of things bother me about this trio. First of all, they’re sitting down. Shouldn’t job applicants be showing a bit more enthusiasm by at least standing up? Also, the fact that they only have one sign which they take turns holding indicates that they may not be the types to hustle up two pounds per day.

    If I were the employer, I’d just drive right by these three and look elsewhere for my personnel needs.

  • To be fair to them, Joe, I did notice that they weren’t holding up the signs to every car–for instance, the Highway Patrol got a pass….

    i tried to figure out what made me a candidate for employer and decided that most of the cars (I only watched a couple minutes though) appeared dusty. If it was dirt, I’m sorry to say I quite fit the bill. Hill cars won’t stay clean.

  • Good photo. This one could easily become a cover photo for a book on the History of Marijuana in Humboldt County.

  • The last commenter is right about the photo. Good job. Fun story too. Only in Humboldt!

  • only in humboldt….

  • great photo Kym, the trimmer migration is a fascinating story. I know of a group of girls who came from the east coast to trim in Mendocino and ended up staying, renting their own house and then harvesting 50 pounds the following summer!

    Last October I ran the gauntlet of trimmers outside the Garberville Chevron to get some gas when I overheard a french accent. Being a French speaker, I felt obligated to introduce myself and ask if I could be of assistance. The European in question was from Belgium, accompanied by two Sicilians who came all the way to Garberville to trim! The three had met in Thailand several months before and decided that going to Humboldt County to trim was the best way to make enough money to continue their travels. Their goal was to get to the next rainbow gathering in Mexico. Upon further discussion the Belgian explained that they had come all of this way to trim for a specific person who had invited them, only to be told to beat it once they arrived. I called around to various friends to see if any openings were available for the beleaguered trio and found a few days work for them in Leggett. Instead of trimming the three were put to work as cooks. The two sicilians made vegan pasta from scratch and a bunch of other dishes that were amazing. That same friend from Leggett was so pleased with the experience that he found them several different jobs throughout the rest of the trimming season. He recently told me that the Sicilians called and requested some more work for the 2008 season.

    I know that the influx of trimmers seems like a huge burden for small towns like Willits, Laytonville, Garberville, and Arcata; but I hope people realize that a lot of these young people are in fact, people. Many people who come to our community to trim are genuinely nice with fascinating stories to tell. I encounter much more riff-raff on the Arcata plaza in March than I do in G-ville during trim season.

    Kym, your posting has inspired me to start a trimmer stories thread on my blog. Thank you for the continous stream of inspiration.

    P.S. The CNBC interview is full progressing, due to be aired in January. Lots of bizarre twists and turns.

    • I’m in cali for the summer. Anyone now where I could snag a trimming job? Need cash fast and I do love bud 🙂

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  • Kym! You’re over your mail quota on starband. You need an email adddress at google or yahoo or such where you don’t have to worry about quota’s. When you have it fixed, let me know so I can email you pictures from this weekend.

  • My email to you bounced too, Kym.

  • A few years ago I was in Murrish’s. This somewhat feral, mid-twenties dude was pushing a cart with 2-300 boxes of oven bags, nothin’ else. I said, “well, we’re not even trying to be subtle are we?” With a Cheshire grin that lit up the isle he said, “Nope!”

    Gotta love us!

  • DJ and Aunt Jackie, Hopefully it is fixed. (Yes, I should get another one but I like the address.)

    Doug, I was watching this fellow load his cart up just last week–beer, chips, cookies, lots of steak–that kind of food and then he added in a box of oven bags. Well, I snickered. I may be guilty of stereotyping but there is no way in heck that kind of food went with oven bags. Someday I’d love to call the company and ask if they sell an unusually large number of bags here.

    BTW, I loved your website.

  • I have heard that “that company” already sent a representative here a couple years ago to find out why their bags sell so darn well… he was shocked to discover why and promptly left the area!

  • If you figure out the source of that story I would love to hear it.

  • A couple of years ago I heard a trivia question on a local radio station (KHSU I think?). What store in the USA sells the most oven roasting turkey bags? 2 free tickets to something for the correct answer.

    1st answer: Wal Mart NYC? Not even close.

    2nd answer: Safeway Arcata? Nope but getting closer.

    3rd answer: Ray’s Garberville! Bingo! 1st in nation! Apparently second place sells like 20x less. Bonus prize if caller can say why they sell so many……. caller says: police dogs cant smell the “turkey” inside? Correct again.

    When you think about it, people don’t bake turkeys very often.

  • 2lbs a day, that’s pretty good.keep a clipping. Gotta love it to enjoy it. Luv to join ya sometime. I’m pretty good myself.

  • i need 250.00 per pound of marjunia

  • Our household “bakes a lot of turkeys.”

    Great piece of local flavor here.

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  • where can i apply?

  • Adam Paul Plimmer


    I want to be a trimmer how ??

  • It really is a pain to trim all of that though lol.

  • Please, please can you give me information on how to get one of these jobs? I’m looking to move to cali’s emerald triangle very soon, and i would love love to clip all day , making that much money. That gives me time to do my art and money to fund my gallery. I’d so appreciate yo.

    • You probably already got work. But it really is who you know. You have to come out and know some one who knows some one to even get a foot in the door. Also if you don’t know how to trim or aren’t fast you will get thrown of the hill pretty damn. Quick. I would like to say to every one thinking oh we are just going to go to cali and get rich quick. Those stories you here about people getting picked up and going to trim are one out of 30 people who got passed up. Flying a sing to trim is annoying and will just get you run out of town.

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  • Being from the Midwestern State of Indiana….These Stories seem like something so far fetched…….Not to mention “Comical”, That they must be true! LOL… Ah, If I could re-live my life and be in better health, I’d pack up a head West so fast that your Head would spin like Linda Blair in the exorcist! I wished trimming was a Job title here in Northern Indiana….(6 more years and I could retire as a Trimmer) LOL! What a Dream Job! I’m having so much fun reading these blogs….I can’t even remember how I stumbled across this site! And I am Glad I did! Geez, Here I am a 54 year old “Hick” From Indiana who is a “Frozen in the 60’s” Guy. I wished and I hope that I live long enough to see “Legalized” Weed in my State. I’d Love to be in the situation where worrying about finding folks to trim my crop, be a issue for me! LOL. I’d be so rich even if I only had a nickle to my name! I’m So glad I found this Blog to read……..It gives me pleasure to read such a Blog of this nature. Please feel free to email me so I can dealve deeper into Talking about such a great topic! I am At a loss for the right words to say…….LOL! Man I wished I was starting over again! Imagin that…….Me as a “Trimmer”……How Lucky can a person Be?
    Thanks and Peace be with you Always
    S.A. Bogie
    Northern Indiana

    • Hey S.A., I’m 56 and still a hippie at heart ,though you wouldn’t know it to look at me anymore!
      It made me kind of sad to read your post, cause it sounds like you’ve sort of surrendered. I don’t know about you, but I still feel young at heart and I feel like I still have a couple of road trips left in me. I’ve been thinking really seriously about driving out to the Mendocino area and camping out, testing out some of that world class herb and seeing the sights. If somehow I stumbled into a grower in need of some help, so be it. If not, that’s OK too. What do you say I stop by your place on the way and pick you up? Are you up for one more road trip???!!!!
      Naples, Florida

  • If you are interested in more stories and photos of this area and its unique marijuana culture, you should ask your local magazine distributor for a copy of Humboldt Grow. I write for it. The website is not up to date but the magazine is great.

  • I am trying to figure out how to blog and participate in these forums. More power to you! You probably know my exwife and daughter and think they are wonderful folks. You are half right! I love reefer and reefer culture, which is why I went legal and grow for personal consumtion, but damn the luck, I had to go legit and conscience dictates that I share the other side of the story. One bad apple spoils the bushel, as they say. If you cannot find my blog “humboldtkids” it is because I am completely incompetent with this stuff. If my daughter were here she could show me how. Rest assured, though, I will do everything in my power to get this story out.

  • This game is changing at lightning speed. The last 6-8 months have me questioning my direction in life, the new laws and the pace of change is astounding! Medical marijuana is finally here and its about time, I found a company based out of California that will help with setup and tending of grows for green card patients, or legal collectives that supply to California dispensaries. Wow, and very kool.

    I have been in this game before but the rules were different then, lost 116 pounds and 21 months of my life in lompoc over it. Done what was dealt and moved on, but the legal aspect has me missing the scene. I’m not even talking the money, I miss that dank smell and working with weed. If you love the smell and the plant itself you know what I mean. Im wondering what it takes to get setup with a good spot in Humbolt or perhaps Oakland? I have never lived in California, and its cities kinda scare me so Humbolt is probably more my scene. What are resnt going for? If no rents what about for sale by owners? What s the going rates around there? It would have to be the right spot, legit or not under the radar is best. Ive been following the change pretty close in the news as can be imagined, my mind has never wandered far these past few years. When its in your blood its in your blood. Im just very excited that this turning point is finally here.

    I would be happy to get a collective going with someone down in those parts. Get it going all legal like to take advantage of the winds of change. My past experience in this weed game was shopping for the best chronic and figuring out how to get it from a to my b. Now I would like to learn this grow game and help people in need get the medicine for their bodies and soul.

    Sorry for the novel, and If any locals in Humbolt or Oakland with some knowledge or thoughts… please email me back.

    signed – All fired up

  • This is just great. Very interesting. Why don’t they get a trimmimg job of their own hahahah! No offense. Lazy peeps. You know what they say? DO IT YOURSELF! hahahaha!

  • No offense I think this is great.

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  • I am interested in knowing more information about jobs that are associated with Marijuana. Please contactme with further details. This would be Awesome.

  • Is it possible to find some nice hippies who need help around the last week of august? coming out to eureka to see some family just wanted to have the experience…

    • Jo-jo, if you don’t have an in through your family, it probably isn’t going to happen.

      • Well I am going out to see my aunt and uncle and they dont really have connections on the grow level… Plus they live about an hour south of there. I was just trying to come up and find some personal for taking home and possibly trim it or at least see the culture involved in this. But I am sure the best way to do it is just show up… I will be out there tomorrow till sept 9th

  • just to put this out there. woman don’t get paid more for trimming in the nude. trimming in the nude is the insure your not steeling the product.

  • just to put this out there. woman don’t get paid more for trimming in the nude. trimming in the nude is the insure your not steeling the product.


    Women who cut coke go nude so they won’t steal anything as a person could stash thousands of dollars worth of cream in a bra every day.

    How much wet bud could a trimmer seriously hide in some breasts? $50 worth? Then by the time they get home it is all smashed. Nobody is about to go through all that trouble when they are already making hundreds of dollars. Besides, if you wanted to sneak bud, wouldn’t all them opaque bags full of it offer plenty of opportunity to sneak some not involving squashing weed down your shirt?

    Some dudes prefer topless trimmers for macho pig reasons. Some trimmers go topless to cool off and avoid chafing. I’ve never heard of forced toplessness due to fear of theft. If people really do that shit, theyneed to consider why they hire such untrustworthy folks to begin with.

    • I never heard of keeping trimmers nude so they don’t steal either. Trimmers that are suspected of stealing would never be hired again. But trimmers wouldn’t be snagging a few buds. Heck, the grower would probably hand the trimmer some in most places if she wanted it.

  • This is almost a 2 year post, Kym. Has it changed much in 2 years?

    Great photo!

    • It’s not about stealing at all seriously as a girl trimmer the most they should do is check for a wire. If they want you to trim naked it’s because they are either pervs who want to see you naked or so you will work faster. I would pass on any naked trim job. And have three times . Topless or full nude. Have some respect for your self. But then again alot of the girls who do go trim topless are mama’s any way and don’t care about being naked.

  • I want a trimming job bad, preferably in California. I can do At least one pd. A day I’m ready to leave asap. I live in louisiana so I’d fly to wherever.

  • im moving to ukiah, regardless….The emerald triangle is the place to be. I do have a friend there that grows big outdoors. Well a friend of a friend. Where would I start when I get there in terms of help for the outdoor season? Anybig growers that would be interested in a Perfecto clipper let me know. I’m also getting a house on the hills and will need clipping help. Commercial license..yadda yadda etc. I am willing to help people clip who would help me clip indoors. And give the best of deals. I have a strain from makanda illinois called makanda madness that is Great yealder indoors and out as long as a phenotype of bubblegum that is not there. and that will be the money maker for sure…

  • greetings from sam
    i have been looking for for a way in in humbolt . my wife and i wojuld love to come up and trim for somebody this season. we are new here trying to grow our little bit of heaven in ca.
    we have had some success and some failuers, our latest venture was a failuer. a friend gave us some plants because he broke a 1000 watt fixture. then gave us a buch [35 or so] pants, i was extatic ! then everything got powerdy mildew on everything i had.
    now we are looking for some new knowledge, new strains, and some cash. we have trimmed our own crop 5 different times, with number 6 coming out in 2 weeks.
    it is a perfect time to shut down our grow, and start over. we have some “GOD BUD”
    seeds and would like a couple new strains to go with it. lime another indica and a great sativa for my wife.
    if anyone can help us get in the door for a trim job let me know. it has to be for 2 people. and we would love to come up. meet some new folks ,see some new territory have some fun and make some money.we are willing to work.
    callme at 760-961-2019 or email us at

    thanks for your time
    troy krause

  • Hello,
    just recently heard a story about trimming from a relative:-)
    College student and spiritualist here very interested in exploring a new adventurous path that nature has to offer. I can be reached at

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