Tipping your budtender: This has been a gray area in the cannabis industry that many are not aware of. Should you tip your bud-tender? When medical marijuana was first legalized, you were not allowed to tip your budtenders. However, those laws have changed now and it is up to the individual dispensary if they allow tips or not. After speaking with a few dispensary managers and budtenders in Pennsylvania, here is what I have come up with. They do allow and except tips for their budtenders, but it is not expected.

The manager at Rise dispensary in Erie Pa, gave me the best input on tipping. We do allow tipping for our budtenders, but we do not promote tipping by putting out tip jars, or any type of tipping displays. If the customer feels that they received quality service and information they were looking for from their bud-tender and they want to give them a tip, they can. Some people just feel better when they tip someone for their services. Some may feel they do not need to tip and that is alright too.

Keep in mind that budtenders average pay is only between $11.00 and $13.00 an hour and no they do not get a percentage of what they sell. They also go through ongoing training, and keeping up with the cannabis industry can become quite overwhelming at times. They need to keep up with the latest information on new strains, concentrates, and equipment that is never ending in this job field. According to most budtenders, they do not expect anything in return for their knowledge and service because they love their jobs helping patients. But a tip would be greatly appreciated and never turned down. "A small tip, complement, and a smile can go a long way in making one feel appreciated for their service."

So, what is considered a good tipping practice for your budtender? Well, from the research I have done, a $2.00 to $5.00 tip is the average in our area. If you can afford it and want to give more that is fine. There is no real set rules on percentage for tipping like in the restaurant industry. If you cannot afford a tip, again, one is not expected. Some customers like to bring baked goods once in a while to show their appreciation to the budtenders and staff. Yum... I assure you that some homemade baked goods will never be turned down. Just remember that is is illegal to bring into a dispensary any goods that contain cannabis. Save your concentrated edibles for home.

Peace,
Bart

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