May 3, 2023

Cannabis Policies in the Workplace: What You Need to Know


Cannabis Policies in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

As more states legalize marijuana, there are many questions about how cannabis policies should be applied in the workplace. Employers need to consider a range of legal and practical issues related to marijuana use by employees.

What Is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a plant that contains over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive and is believed to have therapeutic effects.

Legalization of Cannabis

Marijuana is legal for medicinal or recreational use in several states. Employers need to be aware of the specific laws in their state. For example, some states protect employees from discrimination based on their medical marijuana use, while others do not.

Cannabis Policies in the Workplace

Employers may choose to prohibit marijuana use in the workplace or during work hours, even if it is legal in their state. Employers may also prohibit employees from being under the influence of marijuana while at work.

Drug Testing

Employers may choose to drug test employees for marijuana use. However, drug testing can be tricky because THC can stay in a person’s system for weeks after use, even if they are no longer under the influence. Employers may need to consider limiting drug testing to certain job functions or only testing employees who are suspected of being under the influence.

Employee Rights

Employees have the right to use marijuana in accordance with their state laws. Employers need to be careful not to discriminate against employees who use marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, employers may still prohibit marijuana use during work hours or in the workplace.


Cannabis policies in the workplace can be complex. Employers need to be aware of the laws in their state, develop clear policies, and communicate those policies to employees. By doing so, employers can reduce the risk of legal issues and provide a safe and productive work environment.

Further Reading

Categorized as Policies
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