The medical marijuana industry is relatively new in the United States. Budtending has existed as a profession for considerably less than a decade in most legal MMJ states. In many jurisdictions, you can count the number of years MMJ dispensaries have been operating on one hand… and still have several fingers left over!
However, the MMJ industry is growing rapidly across the country. New incarnations of the industry are flowering in different parts of the country. Each state’s medical marijuana scene tends to have its own flavor and feel. But to most MMJ customers, the industry still feels very new.
In such an exciting and fresh industry, there is a lot of new information to discern, for industry-professionals and customers alike. Product development happens at breakneck speed, and many medical cannabis patients depend on great budtenders to guide them through their MMJ options.
Budtenders play a vital role, central to the MMJ industry. But because budtending is such a new profession, budtender tipping etiquette is still very much up in the air. New MMJ patients are always eager for tips on tipping their budtender. How much should you tip your budtender? How much does a budtender make? Is there even such a thing as proper budtender tipping etiquette?!
When it comes to how to tip your budtender, there are no hard and fast rules. That said, here are seven things to consider when thinking about tipping your budtender.
1. A Great Budtender Will Help Maximize Your Enjoyment Of The MMJ Experience
Medical marijuana proves to be a game-changer in the lives of most MMJ patients. It can massively increase wellbeing and enjoyment of life. A great budtender can bring the amount of value you get from medical cannabis to the next level.
The product recommendations, expert info, and great customer service an excellent budtender can provide are incredibly valuable. When somebody is supplying this much value, a tip may be thoroughly deserved.
2. Great Budtending Requires Dedication, Time, And Effort
Being a great budtender is not an easy job. There is so much to learn to keep up with the rapidly expanding range of exciting new MMJ products that are coming to the market.
Excellent budtenders are passionate about their job and they tend to be avid students of the MMJ scene. Staying on the cutting edge of MMJ requires dedication, time, and effort, so if you appreciate the work a great budtender is putting in, a good tip is the perfect way to show that.
3. Tipping Is Not An Obligation – It’s Your Choice
Bear in mind that tipping your budtender is not an obligation. Most budtenders consider a tip to be a nice bonus, but it’s not something they expect from every customer.
Unlike employees in some service industries, such as bartending and waitressing, who rely on tips to supplement their low basic rate, budtenders are not “working for tips”.
4. Budtending Is Not An Especially High Paying Job
Despite the above, budtending is not an especially highly paid job in most places. Budtenders typically earn between $10 and $15 an hour, which is near to minimum wage in many parts of the country. So while “tipped employees” such as bartenders and waiting staff can make less than that, they still often do very well thanks to plentiful tips.
Budtenders slightly fall between stools in this area, as their pay is not much higher than minimum wage and yet they do not enjoy the hefty tips that other service jobs sometimes get. You might decide that your budtender deserves, and could do with, a little extra for good service.
5. How Much Effort Has Your Budtender Put Into The Transaction?
Has your budtender shown passion and enthusiasm? Have they made your visit to the dispensary enjoyable and informative? Have they gone the extra mile to help you find the perfect MMJ product for you? Excellent, dedicated service usually deserves a tip.
Tipping also incentivizes even more great customer service by making a budtender feel appreciated and motivated. So by tipping your budtender, you are creating an upward spiral of positive emotion. This will benefit your budtender, their colleagues, and your fellow customers!
6. What’s Your Personal Financial Situation?
You can’t help others unless you first help yourself. There is no need to tip if you cannot afford to tip.
Some Americans are in difficult financial situations. If you have a lot of bad debt or are having trouble covering your basic expenses and needs, then you are perfectly within your rights to be as frugal as you need to be.
7. There Is No “Correct” Amount To Tip
As we said previously, budtenders are not expecting a tip. And there is no agreed-upon “correct” amount that you should tip. If you got great service and you enjoyed your experience with your budtender, and you want to give a tip, then do so.
Tip what you think the service deserves, and what you can afford. A dollar is a fine starting point. And if you want to tip more, then tip more!
There are no hard and fast rules around tipping your budtender. Nothing is obligatory and nothing is expected. If you can afford to tip and you believe a tip is deserved, then go ahead. Your budtender will appreciate it, and you may just improve everybody’s day!
Featured image by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash