In this competitive hiring environment, you may need to be a little less picky about the applicants you accept. For an increasing number of employers, that includes dropping their marijuana testing requirement and being open to hiring people who may have used marijuana (or currently use it off-duty).

Last year, 3.9% of workplace drug tests came back positive for marijuana. That’s a 20-year high, according to Quest Diagnostics.

In part, that positivity spike is because medical marijuana is now legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis is legal in 18 states. In Congress, the House last month voted to make marijuana legal nationwide, but the Senate is unlikely to go along this year.

Yet, according to Quest, fewer companies these days are testing their employees for THC, the chemical component in marijuana that delivers a high. Many attorneys endorse the no-testing idea for their corporate clients.

Amazon has stopped testing candidates for marijuana. Instead, they test workers for other drugs and do regular “impairment checks” on the job.

Advice: Unless you must drug-test to comply with safety laws or government contracting rules, consider dropping workplace testing for pot. If you do, be sure to revise your employee policies. Follow these tipcs:

State that you will no longer routinely test employees for marijuana. However, reserve some flexibility by stating you may test in some circumstances.

Review your policies on workplace behavior. You should have a policy that forbids workers from being intoxicated at work, from marijuana or any other substance. In no state where cannabis is legal are employers required to tolerate workers impaired while on the job.

Add language to your no-smoking policy as well, making clear it covers smoking or vaping marijuana in addition to tobacco.

Cover all the ways in which marijuana may be consumed. You should prohibit use and possession of edible cannabis products at work.

Address medical marijuana. Be sure your policies state your commitment to abiding by state laws on medical marijuana usage in states where you conduct business.

Source: HR Specialist Employment Law | May 2022