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8 Ways HR Leaders are Thinking about Marijuana Policy at Their Companies

April 20th, 2022


Do you have a marijuana policy in your workplace? What does it entail? Has your company's stance on employee marijuana use changed at all in the past few years?

To help you learn how businesses conduct a marijuana policy in the workplace, we asked CEOs and Human Resources leaders these questions for their best insights. From preventing cannabis use in the workplace to not babysitting employees, there are several considerations from leaders on their marijuana policy stance.

Here are 8 ways business leaders are thinking about marijuana use:

Make Sure to Have a Policy

We don’t have a marijuana policy in our company, but I’m planning to have one in the future when I open my physical office. I believe that brick-and-mortar businesses must have a cannabis policy in place, since many people now embrace marijuana as a medicinal alternative, especially those who suffer from chronic stress, depression and cancer.

James Parsons, Content Powered

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Our marijuana policy is simple—don’t ask, don’t tell. It may be an ostrich-like policy of burying our heads in the sand, but if we’re being honest, marijuana is ubiquitous today. It’s widely legal at the state level, has been shown to offer medicinal benefits and frankly, even helps some people to achieve greater productivity and focus. The only issue is that because of its social taboo and the murky federal legal issues around it, it’s easier just to look the other way.

That’s why I instituted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” type of policy around this touchy issue. I honestly don’t care if my employees use marijuana before, during or after work—I just don’t want to know about it. So long as they are happy and productive, that’s good enough for me. Clearly, this type of policy may not work for all business models. For example, if your business requires the operation of heavy equipment, that could pose liability issues. But for digital businesses like ours, this policy works well.

John Ross, Test Prep Insight

Be Wary When in the Legal Field

My company is located in five different locations, however, each of these locations is in South Carolina. Recreational marijuana is still illegal, as is any medical cannabis over 0.9% THC. Given state law, our company strictly prohibits marijuana. Since my profession lies within the legal industry, my company will likely be unable to relax its marijuana policy even if recreational use was legalized.

David Aylor, David Aylor Law Offices

Prevent Cannabis Use in the Workspace

Even though we are a marijuana company, we still have a “no drug use” policy at work. Of course, we don’t administer a drug test prior to hiring, because we hope that the employee has some familiarity with cannabis—but only outside of the office. This is especially important for product developers trying different renditions of cannabis formulas—all cannabis products must be used at home, off-site and not on work hours.

Chris Vaughn, Emjay

Consider Turning the Other Cheek

We do not have a marijuana policy at our company, simply because it is not needed. What adults do in the privacy of their own homes on their own time is not our concern. However, we do have a blanket substance-abuse policy that specifically prohibits the abuse of any and all substances during work hours.

Most of our staff is remote, and to be honest, we have no real way of knowing if a team member has been using marijuana or anything else while on the clock. We haven't had any issues with attendance, performance or production, so we don't feel a need to create a problem where one does not exist.

In settings where heavy machinery and dangerous equipment are present, I could see having a more aggressive drug and alcohol policy. But as long as our team is focused on their laptop screens most of the day, and performance continues to trend in the right direction, there's no need.

Devin Schumacher, SERP

Test for Marijuana Impairment

Many companies, even those with safety or security-critical workers, are dropping their marijuana testing policies. This is happening primarily for two reasons—marijuana is now legal for either medical or recreational use in the plurality of states, and companies can't find an adequate workforce that can pass a marijuana screening test.

The realities of broadening acceptance for marijuana use don't have to put your workers at risk though. The key is to test for active impairment, rather than the simple presence of THC in the body. Since THC can stick around for up to a month after the last use, testing for THC in the body is a retroactive way to look at marijuana use.

Ken Fichtler, Gaize

Trust Employee Discretion

We are an e-commerce business centered on the use of CBD products for pets, people and horses. You may think that we might have a different outlook, but our stance remains firm against the use of nonmedical marijuana in the workplace. Recreational use is upon the discretion of the employee, and the company will not act as long as the employee’s productivity and quality of work is not compromised.

However, we recognize the use of NAYSA CBD. NAYSA CBD is the primary component in our products and has the effect of regulating functions like pain, emotion and coordination. It can help alleviate discomfort, stiffness and cramps. It does not contain THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that can have the adverse effect of anxiousness.

Debbie Meeuws, Nature's Arc Organics

Don’t Babysit Employees

We believe that employees are hired to work, not to be babysat. Our cannabis policy is basically to leave it at home. We don’t drug test our employees because we don’t deem it necessary, but we believe adults who can do the job can make their own choices in their personal lives.

As a CBD and hemp company, cannabis use comes up every day in our business. We are looking to craft a new mercantile space separate from regular cannabis and products like Delta-8, but inevitably there are misconceptions about our product because of its origins—both internally and with customers.

In short, we encourage our employees to do what they want but not to let it affect their productivity or sense of professionalism.

Shawn Munoz, Pure Relief

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