5 Things Employers Can Do To Prepare for Legalization

Shanon Jaramillo

2019 was a big year for the legalization bill in New Mexico. With the momentum and support this year, we could very well experience and Adult Use market sooner rather than later. What can employers do to prepare?

In an effort to shorten learning curves for employers and professionals across the state, here are 5 ways to get ahead of new cannabis laws.

#1 Learn the basics of State and Federal law

Employers are encouraged to note the difference between the almost 12 year old New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act (LECUA) and the potential Adult Use market that would be created under the Cannabis Regulation Act. The protections listed under the legalization bill revolve around patient consumer employees who already currently have the right to consume cannabis in our state as one of the 70,109 listed patients in the Department of Health’s registry.

#2 Learn basics about patient and consumer cannabis usage

Cannabis as a means of wellness will be taken into consideration by several employers who aim to make adjustments to keep pace with applicant and employee rights under new laws. This will entail understanding basic medical and scientific aspects of the marijuana plant and how it works with the body for people who take it as a medicine. The Medical Training Team at Cannabis NM Staffing teaches regular classes on research and developments and clinical perspectives in an effort to shorten learning curves on important cannabis topics for the public. You may also wish to review how cannabis metabolizes in the body when considering drug testing policies.

#3 Review & update current company policies

Most companies have staffing structure and an organizational chart. These should be reviewed and updated along with safety considerations around certain employee roles and tasks.

#4 Review & update interview and onboarding process

If your company has a strict policy around drug testing during the onboarding process, prepare new language for the interview process and documentation. Also consider reviewing and revising employee documentation such as application, job descriptions, handbooks, offer letters and anything else that is exchanged to express company policies to new and existing staff.

#5 Post signage on site

Some businesses rely on federal funding and contracts and they will still have to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act. For this among other reasons, the legalization bill requires employers to comply with signage. According to HB 356 Section 27 (D) Every workplace shall post signs warning of the potential impairment effects of cannabis, any discipline or penalty an employee may receive for using cannabis while at work or for coming to work impaired and a statement that possession of or use of cannabis is prohibited pursuant federal law.

Here to help, Cannabis NM Staffing has prepared two classes on "Preparing for Legalization in New Mexico" and "Legalization, Wellness & Drug Testing" for those in attendance at the mid-April

American Society of Safety Professionals 2019 Professional Development Conference.

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