As medical marijuana moves into the mainstream in many states, it puts employers in a tricky situation: How do you handle it when an employee takes small amounts—known as microdoses—of THC throughout the workday to manage a medical condition, whether it’s headaches, anxiety, or pain?
Is it the same as taking a Tylenol? Is it safer than an opiate? And do employers need to know?
“This is an unbelievably complicated issue,” said Mary Kay O’Neill, a senior clinical consultant for HR consulting firm Mercer.
In fact, complying with marijuana laws is one of the biggest challenges facing employers in 2020, according to a survey of 700 HR professionals by XpertHR, an online HR resource site. Nearly a quarter said they are extremely challenged by federal, state, and local medical and recreational marijuana laws and managing employee drug use, compared with 5.7% in 2017. Rapidly changing laws, they said, have created complications for employers who want to implement drug-free workplace policies.
It’s almost impossible for national companies to navigate this territory when they’ve got workers scattered across multiple states—including those where marijuana is still illegal. Employers with federal contracts must also be careful to abide by federal Drug Enforcement Administration rules. “It’s just a hodgepodge out …