More states and local jurisdictions throughout the U.S. are legalizing marijuana in some form or another. The new lawful status of the industry has resulted in booming business that’s brought in billions.

As with any up and coming industry, its rise has met with relief, disapproval, and a lot of problematic details and obstacles that have yet to be worked out. While it’s boosted the economy and helped ease pain for many, not everyone is sure if business can go on as usual while marijuana is legal in their area.

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 marijuana-moneyImage Source: Baltimore Business Journal

Is Manufacturing And Marijuana A Dangerous Mix?
This is true for employers, especially those in the manufacturing sector. Many are still unsure and concerned about their rights, their employees’ rights, and how legal marijuana use may affect their business. Dozens of states and Washington D.C. have now legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. As a result, some employers may think they’re powerless to maintain a drug free workplace.

Legalization Uncovers Growing Concerns
There are also questions on how this will affect individual company policies and an employer’s rights when it comes to drug testing. For example, if an employee tests positive for marijuana use but they carry a prescription as part of a doctor’s care, does the employer have permit that drug use like any other properly prescribed drug?

How can an employer ensure a safe working environment—especially in a complex manufacturing facility—when one or more employees may be using marijuana that may affect them all differently? Is it up to the employer to determine what constitutes legal substance use and drug abuse, and is it within their rights to terminate a worker as they see fit?

 US_NavyImage Source: Wikimedia

What Rights Remain For Employee And Employer?
While people may be changing their views on marijuana use as more laws permit it, so far employers still maintain their right to control what’s allowed on the job, and that includes marijuana use. Employers can still hire and fire based on the results of a company drug test.

Obviously, employees are still to be held accountable for their job performance. If legal marijuana use compromises that, an employer still retains their right to take action. However, even though the law remains on the side of the employer in cases of drug use and testing, manufacturers should still be paying attention to how marijuana legalization continues to affect their business and the sector overall, as well as what’s within their rights and the rights of their workers.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think manufacturers need to be concerned more now that in the past, before marijuana legalization? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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