American Voters are Seeing Green

Mary Jane was a stand-out winner from the 2020 election

On Nov. 3, 2020, voters in several states voted to “puff puff” pass measures to allow recreational marijuana or medicinal marijuana, leaving many employers in these states to navigate a gray area of legislation when it comes to company workplace drug policies.  

There are now 15 states allowing recreational marijuana, with the newest additions being Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey. Additionally, 35 states have now legalized medical marijuana. Mississippi and South Dakota were recently added to the list, with the latter also passing recreational marijuana through a joint ballot initiative. Take a look at this U.S. map showing the marijuana laws in all 50 states

Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance at the federal level, so while more states are choosing to spark up medical marijuana programs or allow recreational marijuana, employers are having to revisit their workplace drug policies to make adjustments or determine if they’re simply going up in smoke. 

The guidelines each state sets around medical or recreational marijuana vary widely. Like Arizona, some states have additional marijuana laws on record that prohibit employers from discriminating against medical marijuana users. On the other hand, Montana added employer-friendly provisions to their laws that do not require businesses to permit or accommodate recreational marijuana use in the workplace or on the employer’s property. 

Keeping track of these laws across the U.S. or just in your state can turn into a mixed bag of stems and seeds pretty quickly, so it’s important to know your local regulations when adjusting and enforcing your workplace policies. Let’s roll up some best practices to follow 

while your company navigates the budding marijuana landscape according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM):

  • Don’t tolerate marijuana use on the job, just as you wouldn’t tolerate alcohol use.
  • Train managers to spot signs of impairment.
  • Think carefully about the type of [drug] test your company uses and stay on top of developments in testing technology. 
  • Talk to a lawyer about relevant state laws before setting policies and rules. 
  • For companies operating in different states, testing policies may need to vary by location. 
  • Educate employees about the company marijuana-use policy and the repercussions for failed tests, including random, post-accident, or reasonable suspicion tests. 

Ultimately, employees must follow an employer’s workplace drug policy and can’t be under the influence of marijuana while at work or while driving for work regardless of their status as a medical marijuana patient or if their state allows recreational use. 

From guiding you through best practices to helping you create and enforce workplace drug policies, our HR business partners are ready to help clear up some of the gray area around these issues. Contact your HR business partner at 888.811.5150.

Also on Nextep

Storm season is here! Businesses need plans in place, not only for taking shelter during inclement weather but also for running business as usual. We’re sharing a few procedures and precautions to consider when storm season rolls around.  Shelter Your employees should know how to respond when emergencies happen during the workday. Learn more from […]
Read more
In a crisis, life can seem a little scary. It’s easy to lose sight of the good in the midst of trying times. That’s why mental health and taking care of yourself is never more important than when you face a crisis. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. You may be experiencing increased […]
Read more
The physical and mental well-being of your employees is essential. At Nextep, we’re doing what we can to ensure our employees are healthy and stay that way. Keeping up with your employees’ well-being can be challenging, so here are a few ways employers are promoting workplace wellness today. CREATING A CULTURE OF MENTAL WELLBEING Employees […]
Read more
If your employer participates in the federal government’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, you should know more about what that means.  The WOTC is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire people from certain groups facing challenges gaining employment. This program incentivizes employers to promote job access to a diverse range of […]
Read more
Voluntary paid leave for employees and accompanying tax credits for employers, originally made available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), have been extended through September 30, 2021, by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). If you haven’t already, you need to decide whether or not your organization will continue offering paid COVID-related leave […]
Read more
As we arrive at the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S, there are still daily challenges facing employees and employers alike. The last year has been a whirlwind of info, from new legislation and safety protocols to vaccines. Through it all, Nextep has helped businesses navigate every challenge along the way.  One […]
Read more
Working toward a more equitable workplace where your employees feel safe, heard, and represented positively impacts your people and community. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to help build a more equitable workplace.  DOWNLOAD GUIDE Recruiting A recent study found that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential for applicants when […]
Read more
We’re following updates on the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available in the U.S. to help you make sense of the news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its position relating to employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccines.  Watch our HR experts break down vaccine mandates in the workplace.  While employers can legally require the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace, this […]
Read more
At Nextep, we make life easier by using technology to empower employees with instant access to all of their employment-related needs in one place. The Nextep mobile app is the core element to our integrated platform and allows our partners to take full advantage of technology on the go.  Manage your info anytime, anywhere, on […]
Read more
Partnering with Nextep means we deliver HR where you are.  It’s about having access to the info you need to run your business — it’s also about supplying you and your people with top-notch employment services whenever and wherever you are in your employment journey. We guide you through workplace solutions, best practices, and compliance […]
Read more
We go above and beyond to keep our clients ahead of the game. Working to elevate the employment experience for our clients and their people is one of Nextep’s guiding principles, and we don’t take it lightly. At Nextep, we believe in answering the phone with a smile and delivering HR where you are every […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees.   During the weekend, President Trump signed an executive order and three memoranda for COVID relief. This executive order bypassed Congress, so debates are underway on its constitutionality and whether it is indeed law. Until we receive definitive word on its […]
Read more

Download Our App