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Confused about Cannabis Compliance? Asurint Can Help

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For those familiar with marketing—and most of you are, given your roles attracting applicants for open positions—“brand pillars” should ring a bell. These are the values or characteristics that underlie a company’s reputation. Or as we like to think about them, they’re what our clients can count on us for. 

At Asurint, our compliance promise is foundational to who we are and what we offer. We recognize that the legislative, regulatory, and litigation landscape for employers is always changing, and we do our best to help organizations keep up. That’s why we host regular “Keeping Up With Compliance” webinars and post so much compliance information to our website. 

One of the biggest areas we’re monitoring is cannabis legalization. Rarely have the hiring, screening, and onboarding processes been so much in flux as they are today with regards to marijuana. Employers are confused about whether they can test for marijuana use in various jurisdictions and how they can act on a positive result. They want to respect employees’ privacy but also maintain workplace safety. They acknowledge the rights of adults to use cannabis for medical or recreational reasons where it’s legal but also want employees to arrive for work energetic and sober, ready to deliver top performance.  

To strike the proper balance, HR pros need to know the latest, like when Minnesota legalized recreational marijuana (they did, it took effect August 1, 2023) or when Kentucky legalized medical marijuana (the law passed but doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2025). What’s more, they need to know what laws like California’s AB 2188 really mean on the ground and day to day, particularly as it pertains to workplace drug testing.  

Asurint posts updates as the cannabis environment shifts and we’ve compiled our 50 State Guide: Drug Testing Laws to serve as nearly encyclopedic reference. This resource is particularly helpful for employers hiring in multiple states and those operating in areas where marijuana has become a frequent focus for the legislature or other bodies. 

For example, as of January 1, 2024, it will be illegal in Washington State to discriminate against an individual during initial hiring stages for off-the-job and away-from-the-workplace cannabis use. Moreover, employers will not be able to screen candidates out based on any drug test that reveals non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in hair or bodily fluids.  

The details matter. In this case, safety-sensitive positions may be exempt, newer drug testing methods may still be used, and employers can continue to operate drug- and alcohol-free workplaces. So what does this law mean in practice? Check out the link above for our initial read. 

Navigating the complexity begins with awareness. Asurint can only offer compliance information for educational purposes—readers should consult qualified legal counsel to assess how changes affect company policies and procedures. We are, however, committed to issuing alerts and connecting our audiences to reliable sources for more information. 

We hope that by doing this part of our jobs, we help make doing your job a little easier.  

Feel inspired to keep even closer tabs on compliance? Why not attend our next Keeping Up With Compliance webinar, to be held on October 26 at 12:00pm Eastern. We always include an open Q&A so you can get answers to your questions. It’s worth a lunch or coffee date to join!

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