Tipping has become normal in American culture, but until recently it was illegal to tip someone working in the cannabis industry. The Gangapreneur article below explains the issues that tipping in the cannabis industry posed in the past.

Washington Regulators Legalize Tips for Budtenders

By Graham Abbott

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced in an email bulletin yesterday that the act of tipping one’s budtender is officially allowed.

Previously, tipping budtenders wasn’t permitted because it had surfaced that certain locations were modifying product prices based on whether or not and how much a customer tipped, essentially sidestepping the state-mandated excise tax. However, due to a dramatic restructuring of the state’s cannabis taxation process in 2015, parts of these concerns were negated.

The WSLCB issued the following statement yesterday:

Effective immediately, customer tipping is now an allowable practice in licensed retail marijuana stores. However, tipping cannot be required or a condition of sale, nor can it be linked to the price of the product to avoid tax obligations. If a licensee allows tipping for their staff, licensees are reminded that there may be business or employee taxes associated with tips received.

So with that in mind, the next time you spend a few minutes chatting with your local budtender about the effects of this strain or the potency of that concentrate, consider dropping a dollar or three into that tip jar — they’ll appreciate it, you’ll feel good about it, and it’s perfectly legal.