Why I Started the Workplace Cannabis Policy Council

Brett Felmey 

As cannabis legalization sweeps through states for both medical and recreational use, employers are confronted with the task of crafting fair and legally compliant workplace policies. This evolving challenge has heightened the need for clear guidance, particularly for HR and safety professionals who are on the front lines of this issue.

The Genesis of the Council

My journey into the realm of cannabis policies began through firsthand experiences in previous roles, where I encountered the complexities and challenges that businesses face with cannabis legalization. Issues ranged from the safety risks associated with impairment to navigating the murky waters of state legalization amidst federal prohibition. These experiences shed light on a significant void: the lack of centralized best practices and clear guidelines.

Recognizing this gap, I founded the Workplace Cannabis Policy Council. Our mission is to serve as a robust resource for HR and safety teams, facilitating dialogue, sharing effective policy templates, offering targeted training, and advocating for clearer regulations. This council is not just a resource—it’s a community aimed at demystifying cannabis policies in the workplace.

Navigating the Challenges

Creating fair and consistent cannabis policies in the workplace is fraught with challenges:

  • Safety vs. Privacy: Balancing the potential safety risks of on-the-job impairment with privacy concerns and discrimination risks.
  • Legal Complexities: Addressing conflicts between state legalization and federal prohibition.
  • Testing Limitations: The current lack of reliable testing for recent cannabis use can lead to unjust terminations for legal, off-duty activities.
  • Cultural Shifts: Adapting to a rapidly evolving legal and cultural landscape that affects how policies are perceived and enforced.

These factors make it clear why a dedicated resource like the Workplace Cannabis Policy Council is essential.

Why HR & Safety Professionals Need This Resource

HR and safety professionals are often tasked with the difficult job of implementing these complex policies. Without centralized guidance or training resources focused on cannabis issues, these professionals can struggle to ensure that policies are both fair and compliant.

The Council provides:

  • Policy Templates and Recommendations: Tools to help develop and refine cannabis policies.
  • Training Programs: Education on crafting policies that balance compliance, safety, and inclusivity.
  • Advocacy for Better Testing Methods: Support for developing testing methods that accurately distinguish between active impairment and past use, ensuring safety without overreach.
  • A Platform for Dialogue: Opportunities to discuss challenges, exchange ideas, and share solutions across industries.

The Benefits of Improved Testing

Accurate testing for recent cannabis use is a cornerstone for fair policies. Such advancements would allow businesses to ensure workplace safety without infringing on the legal personal activities of employees. Improved testing methods could prevent the loss of valuable employees and help attract new talent, maintaining a competitive edge in today’s labor market.

Join Us

I invite you to join the Workplace Cannabis Policy Council to gain access to our resources, including valuable policy templates, training opportunities, and the latest legal updates. Together, we can tackle these emerging challenges and craft policies that promote safety, fairness, and inclusivity in the workplace.

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