Recreational Marijuana is About to Be Legal in MI. So Now What?
On Thursday, December 6, the voter-approved law allowing recreational adult use of marijuana in Michigan will take effect. It cannot be bought or sold yet, but Michiganders can legally possess and smoke marijuana.
What do employers need to know?
First, Proposal 1 does not legally mean anything for employers in terms of policies and procedures.
Similar to when the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) was enacted in 2008, Prop. 1 does not regulate employer policies, including hiring and firing decisions, methods of testing or tolerance guidelines.
Regardless of employer policies, legalization will still change how many employees have marijuana in their systems, and how openly the topic is discussed. It will be up to employers on a case-by-case basis to decide how to handle these issues within their organization, especially when it comes to determining ‘reasonable suspicion.’
The ballot proposal also does not allow for marijuana consumption or smoking in public places or private locations where the owner forbids it.
What do employers need to do?
In the short term, employers should ensure they are clearly communicating with their employees – and soon. Companies should remind employees of current drug policies to avoid any misunderstandings.
Going forward, as finding and retaining talent remains a top issue, companies will take a hard look at their policies and determine what the most reasonable plan of action will be as the state moves into this new era of regulation.
We will continue to work with our members to provide greater certainty about marijuana and associated regulations, if you have additional questions please contact Andy Johnston at 616.771.0335.