Weed Break Wednesday: Considering Cannabis at Work?

Employees, by law, are granted breaks at work, which are generally based on the type and schedule of employment.  Some take this time to smoke cigarettes.  Some have coffee.  Some consume cannabis.

The benefits and uses of cannabis are wide-ranging and include treatment of depression, anxiety, seizures, glaucoma and pain management.  Several cannabis related organizations have shared openly their policies to accept cannabis use by employees at work.  Flowhub, as an example, is open to weed in its workplace.  @CNNMoney recently featured Kyle Sherman and Chase Wiseman, cofounders of the Denver startup.

“Our philosophy at Flowbub is to get s*** done, said Sherman.  “If it helps our employees get work done, then we don’t care if they consume at work.”

In Colorado, weed is legal for personal, recreational use.  Denver, in particular, is a hotbed for cannabis sector enterprises.  So… not terribly shocking that these groups are cool with marijuana at work.  What about those businesses that don’t operate within the cannabis sector?  What about those employees that use marijuana as medicine legally and responsibly?

Are you considering cannabis in your workplace?  Here are 2 things you should know.

  1. Federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance.  Even in states like Colorado, employers have the upper hand when it comes to requiring abstinence from controlled substances, which may include marijuana.  Regardless of marijuana’s legal status in your state, employees are still bound to the terms of employer’s workplace policies.  Know what those are.
  2. Some states like Nevada, Arizona and New York have passed initiatives that require accommodations for medicinal use.  In these states, employees are somewhat protected so long as they are active participants in a “recognized medical marijuana program” (i.e. have valid prescriptions).  Employers in states with accommodations requirements are asked to evaluate the demands of a job and its function prior to making decisions based on or around an employee’s cannabis use.  The implications of accommodations are favorable for those who wish to consume on the job.  But still, do your homework first.  (here’s an awesome resource that discusses various HR policies on pot)

Are you an employer looking to establish a fair but concise workplace policy on employee cannabis use?  Here’s another excellent resource:  NORML’s Model Workplace Policy for Cannabis