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More Cannabis and Regulations


With cannabis moving more and more into our mainstream culture, many of our everyday interactions have been forced to adjust. This is especially true in bridging the gap between state and federal regulation. A few recent alterations to California employment law regarding cannabis aim to alleviate the stigma associated with the product, and remove some ambiguity in the space on the state level.

   

In 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 2188, prohibiting employers from using the results of hair or urine tests for marijuana in their decisions to hire, fire, or discipline workers. While hair and urine can detect trace amounts of marijuana for days or even weeks, it does not signify impairment, a fact that even the federal government has acknowledged. In fact, there have been numerous studies that indicate that these tests for past marijuana consumption do nothing to protect job safety.

   

At the beginning of 2024, an additional law, SB 700, went into effect that amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act to bar employers from asking applicants about prior cannabis use.

   

However, there are a few caveats to these new regulations.


• Employers still retain the right to ask about an applicant's criminal history, but may not discriminate against this applicant if past cannabis activity is discovered in relation to criminal activity, unless permitted by law. They also do not bar employers from using other means to detect impairment, such as blood tests.


• Additionally, these regulations do not apply to those working in building or construction, as safety in this arena is paramount. They also do not apply to applicants for federal jobs with background checks.

   

As regulations continue to wane, and legality continues to spread across the states, expect more of these common sense laws to be passed, and hopefully, lead to a full re-evaluation of cannabis legality on the federal level.


By Stephen Freedman

Freedman is the Regional Manager of the ERBA Markets, the WOODS, West LA,

Venice, Culver City, and WeHo.

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