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Recreational Cannabis Now Legal in Arizona

Recreational cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) is now legal and available for sale in Arizona. The new law specifically states that employers may prohibit cannabis under their drug policies, which means you don’t need to let employees use cannabis at work, and you can still require that employees or applicants test negative for THC (the active compound in cannabis).

f a positive THC result is currently grounds for discipline, termination, or a decision not to hire under your drug policy, you may want to consider whether that provision continues to be in your best interest, as it may force you to discipline or terminate top performers who use cannabis legally on their personal time.

Whether or not you change your policies, now is a good time to remind your employees where you stand on cannabis use and under what circumstances, if any, they could be tested and disciplined for a positive test result.

Employers should also be aware that Arizona already had a medical cannabis law, which protects people who use medical cannabis from employment discrimination. Employers may not discipline an employee who uses medical cannabis based on a positive drug test result unless they used or were impaired by cannabis at work. There are exceptions for safety-sensitive positions and if the employer would otherwise lose a federal license or federal money.

Attached resource, “Cannabis Laws Affecting Employers: State Laws and Employer Guidance.”