Although the pre-employment drug test has been one of the ways to ensure the efficiency and reliability of your employee, it ceased being a yardstick for hand-picking who to hire, especially since the inception of the “Governor’s bill for Employment Protections on Cannabis Consumers in 2022.”
Let’s face it, cannabis and its CBD derivatives have a massive therapeutic influence on many people. While it has worked as a coping mechanism for many fighting cancer, it also has been one of the reliable methods to deal with stress, inflammation, and depression. So, it’s no surprise that cannabis has been legalized in advanced states like California.
However, it takes it up a notch when the government passes a bill that promotes job security for cannabis consumers and dictates how businesses should run their affairs. So, what’s the governor’s bill? How does it affect you as a cannabis consumer? And what are the impacts for business owners? Let’s find out!
What is the 2022 California Governor’s Bill for Employment Protection?
Assembly Bill 2188, signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on September 18, 2022, was one that protects Californians from employment bias that’s based on personal use of cannabis off-duty. Although the law is set to take effect on January 1, 2024, it is already a revolution toward drawing a line between people’s personal and work life. It sets the tone for the future of work and the expectations of employers from employees.
The legislation protecting employees was Introduced by Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), an assembly member. According to the new bill, AB 2188 would forbid employers from penalizing workers that fail specific drug tests.
AB 2188 would instead have employers administer a new strain of drug tests that use saliva to test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) instead of any cannabis derivatives like CBD.
Unsurprisingly the bill wouldn’t include applicants or employees in specific industries like building, construction trades, or any positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance.
The bill isn’t to spite or displace state and federal laws that require applicants to be drug tested for controlled substances as pre-employment conditions.
Already about Six states (Connecticut, New Jersey, Nevada, Montana, New York, and Rhode Island) have laws in place preserving the use of recreational drugs like marijuana by workers. In comparison, about 21 states have laws protecting workers that use medicinal marijuana or marijuana for medical reasons.
How the 2022 California Governor’s Bill for Employment Protection Affects Your Business
The Assembly Bill 2188 is one that’s touted to protect fundamental human rights and also ensure job security on a large scale but at what cost would that be to your business?
This 2188 bill could be easily misinterpreted as it touches many sensitive areas of insecurity for business owners. Business owners need to understand what it implies for their businesses.
It is safe to say that laws like these are not without cause and often for the greater good of both parties involved. This implies that businesses are not expected to run at a loss while hiring a drunk for logistics or to turn a blind eye to unproductive employees who smoke pot every morning on their way to work. The bill does not outrightly ban drug tests. Instead, it shifts the focus of these drug tests.
For example, the standard drug test analyzes urine samples for inactive cannabis compounds called metabolites that follow the use of marijuana from days to weeks before the drug test. The bill proposes a drug test that analyzes the saliva in search of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the substance that causes psychotic effects.
This means that in place of searching for any metabolite that indicates the use of marijuana, the drug test is laser-focused on a specific cannabis compound that induces psychotic behavior.
It’s essential because cannabis lab testing has revealed that there are now many variants of cannabis with some highly medicinal and zero psychotic effects. The law focuses on helping cannabis consumers in California land jobs and also help them keep the jobs but not at the expense of productivity and efficiency at their workplace.
How You Can Control the Impact of the California Governor’s Bill on Your Business
Although there seems to still be a lot of time before Jan 2924 when the law would be passed and enforced around California. In truth, it should give you more time to prep and adjust your business modus operandi for the new rule and playbook.
We’ve helped you understand how this might impact your business hiring and firing processes. But there’s still some personal work (cannabis consulting) to do on how you would measure the productivity and efficiency of your employee as a business.