With legalization spreading across the globe at a rapid pace, many are wondering how cannabis is changing the workplace. In the United States alone, 21 states have lifted the band on cannabis as many people use hemp for medical and recreational. But as this new wave of wellness and care continues to spread across the globe, it also opens the door to other issues specifically in big businesses. Although many people use cannabis recreationally and after work hours, major corporations and employees are questioning whether this new lifestyle might impact job safety.
How has cannabis impacted big businesses?
When applying for a job, aspiring new hires know that the protocol when applying for work is the standard drug screening. For years, cannabis users have tried several tips and tricks to pass drug screening from drinking tons of cranberry juice to buying an expensive five-day detox regimen to eliminate as much THC as possible given that it’s the most detected in drug screening. However, there’s been a cultural and political shift in how Americans approach cannabis use in today’s world.
As cannabis becomes part of the mainstream marketplace, companies are embracing the change. According to a recent report from NBC, companies have accepted cannabis culture in the hopes to have weed be less taboo in other workplaces. “I much prefer to as a CEO of a company to have my employees smoke cannabis together as appose to having some drink and coming to work hungover the next day,” says Rosie Mattio, CEO and founder of Mattio Communications. Amazon, one of the major companies in the world, dropped cannabis screening in their drug testing policy this year stating that “given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course.” As more people choose cannabis for personal and medical use, companies are adapting to the times. But not all companies are created equal.
Are more companies on board with employees using cannabis?
It depends on the job you are applying for. Slowly but surely, companies are learning to adapt as society has changed its view of cannabis in the workplace as opposed to ten years ago. However, there are still restrictions that cannabis users need to be aware of. For people who work operating machinery, driving a forklift, or delivering products in a vehicle, drug screening is an absolute must as employees under the influence of any drug can have deadly effects. And since cannabis is still federally illegal and remains a Schedule 1 drug, major corporations still have the right to refuse anyone with a positive test result depending on the state they’re in.
The big fear of major companies and corporations is employees coming to work high, which has become an HR nightmare. While some companies maintain a zero-tolerance policy, other companies have started implementing new HR strategies for current employees using cannabis such as training managers to spot signs of impairment and speaking to lawyers about state laws and testing rules. On the flip side, some employers have reported allowing employees to openly consume cannabis on the clock.
How will cannabis legalization affect the bottom line?
In most cases, employers see that majority of the individuals that use cannabis use it responsibly. The majority of cannabis users these days hold jobs and can perform at work the same way as someone not using cannabis. In that itself, cannabis has already changed the workplace. However, the best tip is to plan when applying for a new job. As a cannabis user, you must take the time to be knowledgeable in the latest state laws and company policy is on cannabis use. And of course, make sure that you are responsible for your cannabis use, or you will find yourself out of a job. Rule of thumb before applying for a job: do your research.