The times they are a changing.
- Bob Dylan
Once upon a time, prospective employees submitting to marijuana testing faced a grim outcome if they were cannabis consumers. A positive result meant the door automatically slamming in their face.
That is no longer the situation in the state of Nevada, with a few limited exceptions. Nevada has become the first U.S. state to ban pre-employment marijuana tests as a basis for refusing employment to an applicant. More specifically:
AB 132, signed by Governor Steve Sisolak, makes it unlawful for any Nevada employer to fail or refuse to hire someone if they test positive for marijuana.
Drug screening is still allowed, since there is no prohibition on testing prospective employees for other drugs. However, it’s unlawful for employers to refuse to hire someone because of a positive test for marijuana.
In addition, prospective employees are permitted to take a second drug test, within a 30-day period. The cost for the second test would be borne by the applicant.
The Seed Investor has been monitoring the changing political attitudes in the U.S. with respect to the anti-cannabis policies of many public and private sector employers. These attitudes are also changing at the federal level, despite cannabis’ continued official status as a Schedule 1 drug (equated with heroin).
TSI reported on Monday that a congressional committee is urging employers across the nation to “reconsider hiring and firing policies” regarding marijuana, in those states where employees are in compliance with state cannabis laws.
Such anti-cannabis policies by employers affect 10’s of millions of employees across the U.S. (and Canada), cutting off that significant segment of the population from becoming consumers of legal cannabis.
No one is advocating cannabis use in the workplace. And cannabis users don’t need to take “smoke breaks” during the day (like those addicted to nicotine), since cannabis is non-addictive.
States across the United States are steadily approving the use of cannabis. This opens up opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors alike. But that opportunity cannot be fully exploited if a large chunk of the adult population is still shut off from cannabis use because of anti-cannabis policies at work.
To paraphrase a famous quote, today’s news is one giant leap for cannabis in Nevada, one small step for cannabis investors. But it’s a start.