Tip Your Budtender – The Fresh Toast

With tip inflation, people are now expected to tip in restaurants and for other goods and services, especially in areas where tipping was not previously expected. Before 2020, people generally tipped waiters 15% to 20% based on the service received. Today, with tipflation, it's on almost everyone's screens – with the base starting at 15% and rising. Consumers are angry. But what about marijuana dispensaries and tipping your budtenders?

In legal dispensaries, budtenders are crucial. They act in a variety of capacities, helping customers find the best possible variety, showing them new products, and answering questions to give them the best possible experience. This is important work, especially when dealing with a new client who once used marijuana while taking a bong hit in college. Think of her as a cannabis sommelier.

One of the things a new customer might notice while browsing the display cases at a pharmacy is the presence of tip jars. This trend began to take shape about a decade ago when medical marijuana first gained traction across the country. However, they now seem to be more common in both the medical and recreational sectors. As with any situation where a tip jar is present, the idea is to give the budtender the opportunity to earn additional income.

It is also an incentive measure. If a budtender believes he or she can make an extra $50 or more every day simply by providing great customer service, there's a good chance they'll come to work ready to make it rain.

Photo by Heath Korvola/Getty Images

Still, some people are concerned that tip jars are becoming more common in pharmacy practices. Some believe that a budtender may earn about $10 more for helping them find a strain that will be most effective in treating their specific health condition. Others think it's complete nonsense that they have to cough up extra cheddar just because someone sold them a pack of edibles. And while tipping is always optional, many argue that some budtenders act as if they are entitled to a tip for spending a few minutes with a customer.

RELATED: Want to Become a Marijuana Budtender? Find out how to do it

So what is the right thing to do? Should you tip budtenders or just treat them like liquor store employees? After all, the people selling beer don't get tips for pointing to the Baileys or Lagunitas.

The answer should be simple, but it's actually a bit tricky.

Photo by Heath Korvola/Getty Images

First of all, what exactly is the job of a budtender? According to the California-based employment agency VangstThe goal is to “provide excellent customer service to all patients and customers in medical and recreational pharmacies.” Uses a point-of-sale system and other technologies to ensure all sales of cannabis products are properly tracked. Provides customers with information on product selection, consumption methods, compliance and safety. Stays current on all cannabis regulations to ensure compliance within the dispensary.”

RELATED: Get help from your friendly neighborhood budtender

Undoubtedly, being an exceptional budtender comes with a lot of responsibility, which is why he is paid an above-average salary right from the start. Budtenders often start out making around $16 an hour. These aren't great wages, but they're well above most small retail/fast food places where employees aren't compensated by tips.

It's also more money than the average liquor store employee makes without tips. While there is rarely one While bartenders have concerns about tipping by simply popping the top of a beer and sitting in front of them, employees seem to be a different story entirely.

So do we tip budtenders or not?

Don't feel obligated to tip just because there are jars scattered everywhere in a pharmacy. However, if a budtender is friendly, helpful, guides you to exactly what you're looking for, and makes your experience at the dispensary a pleasant one, definitely don't be afraid to leave something special. However, if a budtender only calls in a pack of edibles or pre-rolls, a tip isn't entirely necessary. Products are already so expensive with all the additional taxes that people have to pay more just because an employee pressed a few buttons on a cash register.

But here's the thing: good people who do good work and, most importantly, help you in ways that wouldn't have been possible without them always earn more. Offering a tip for exceptional service is a classic move.

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