Marijuana laws and regulations can vary from state to state, and the current administration has just announced changes to federal marijuana law. Employers may now be challenged to create a marijuana policy that addresses its use, while ensuring a safe and productive work environment.

Does your company need one? If so, what should be included? Here’s a quick guide to what you need to know.

What is a Marijuana Policy?

It’s a policy is a formal set of guidelines that an organization establishes to manage the use of marijuana by its employees. This policy outlines the company’s stance on marijuana consumption, whether for medical or recreational purposes, and sets forth the rules and procedures employees must follow.

The goal is to ensure workplace safety, maintain productivity, and comply with legal requirements. A well-crafted marijuana policy provides clarity on what is acceptable, helps prevent potential conflicts, and addresses issues related to impairment and workplace conduct.

Does My Company Need One?

Having a marijuana policy—whether or not your state allows consumption and sales—is important for several reasons:

  • Legal compliance: Marijuana laws vary significantly across different states and countries. A policy helps ensure that your company complies with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Workplace safety: When your industry involves safety-sensitive roles, it is important to have clear rules about marijuana use to prevent accidents and ensure a safe working environment.
  • Clarity and consistency: A marijuana policy provides clear guidelines for all employees. This reduces ambiguity and helps manage employee behavior appropriately.
  • Employee well-being: Addressing marijuana use through a formal policy can support employees who use medical marijuana, while balancing their health needs with workplace safety requirements.
  • Reputation management: Demonstrating a proactive approach to managing marijuana use can enhance your company’s reputation as a responsible and law-abiding employer.

What Should Be Included?

Your policy should address several key components to ensure it is comprehensive and enforceable:

  • Purpose and scope: Clearly state the rationale behind the policy, such as maintaining workplace safety and complying with legal standards. Define who the policy applies to, which typically includes employees, contractors, and temporary workers.
  • Definitions: Provide clear definitions for terms related to marijuana use, such as “medical” or “recreational” marijuana.
  • Policy statement: Articulate the organization’s stance on marijuana use, including any prohibitions or allowances. For example, state whether marijuana use is completely banned or if exceptions are made for medical use.
  • Legal considerations: Address how the policy aligns with federal, state, and local laws. This is particularly important in regions where marijuana use is legal for medical or recreational purposes.
  • Prohibited activities: Outline specific prohibitions, such as using, possessing, distributing, or being under the influence of marijuana during work hours or on company premises.
  • Medical marijuana: Provide guidelines for employees who use medical marijuana, including disclosure requirements, documentation, and any workplace accommodations that might be considered.
  • Drug testing: Explain the circumstances (where applicable) under which drug testing may be conducted (e.g., pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion) and the procedures for handling positive test results.
  • Impairment and safety: Define what constitutes impairment and describe the expected behavior of employees, particularly those in safety-sensitive positions.
  • Reporting and disclosure: Detail the process for employees to report their use of medical marijuana or any issues related to marijuana use and impairment. You may wish to assure them of their privacy when disclosing usage.
  • Consequences of policy violation: Specify the disciplinary actions for violating the marijuana policy. This may include warnings or termination.
  • Support and resources: You may wish to offer information on resources available to employees, such as employee assistance programs (EAPs) or substance abuse counseling.

Create Your Own Marijuana Policy with SixFifty

Having a clear and comprehensive marijuana policy helps ensure legal compliance, maintains safety, and provides clear guidelines for employees, ultimately contributing to a productive and harmonious work environment.

Create your own marijuana policy with SixFifty. Schedule a demo today.