“Premium Marijuana” in Washington May Mean Lenient Future for Drug Testing
Now that "premium marijuana" is en mode in Washington, will large and/or small businesses get more or less serious about employees having to pass a drug test?
Since “weed won” the 2012 election in the state of Washington, it has been a matter of a great deal of speculation what would happen next—who would be the first to capitalize on the new marijuana leniency laws, and to what end.
Well, that speculation can now end, as Jamen Shively, formerly of Microsoft management, has announced plans to brand marijuana not unlike fine wines and spirits have been branded for hundreds of years. So what does Shively have up his sleeve? Essentially, the plan is to elicit a new feeling about marijuana among specific demographics. Among those, perhaps, according to Shively, those who haven’t partaken in marijuana in more than a decade or two.
According to Shively, as quoted by Huffington Post, “By creating the category of premium marijuana, we want to position it similar to a fine cognac, a fine brandy, a fine cigar,“ Shively added, “Something to be savored and enjoyed, in small quantities by responsible adults.”
But what will this romanticizing of marijuana mean for the state of Washington and its constituents? Some are suggesting that with a newfound freedom coupled with branding of formerly illegal marijuana, the logical conclusion could be a lessening harshness with regard to having to pass a drug test among workers in the state of Washington.
But is that the truth? Hardly. An employer local to the Washington area was quick to note, “We are a supplier to a national company with its headquarters here in town. Because we work with a national group, we have to drug test according to their specs. No matter how legal weed gets here, we’ll be testing as long as we do business with national companies.”
It is true, though, that some employers will be lessening their restrictions. Small and local businesses, mainly those with storefronts and locally manufactured goods or service offerings aren’t required (generally) to drug test employees in order to maintain a competitive edge or to ensure productivity levels. But with that said, the companies who have this philosophy about drug testing have probably not required workers to have to pass a drug test since long before the new marijuana law was passed in Washington state.
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