From the first day of 2020, no employer in Nevada will be allowed to deny a job applicant employment just because that individual tested positive for marijuana during a pre-employment drugs test. The ban is contained in a bill which was signed into law by Gov. Sisolak on June 5. This makes Nevada the first state to enact such legislation in the country.
The new law contains some exceptions for people who may be denied employment on the basis of pre-employment marijuana screening. These include firefighters, EMTs, those who operate vehicles, federal government employees and anyone else applying for a job that the employer deems to be safety-sensitive.
The law also states that when an employer requires a prospective hire to be tested for marijuana, that potential employee has the right to have another test done within 30 days and the employer is bound to accept the results of that additional test. This extra test is at the expense of the prospective employee, according to the newly signed law.
Gov. Sisolak said that he was happy to sign AB132 because the cannabis industry in Nevada was growing and there was need to pass appropriate laws so that all residents of the state remain eligible to take advantage of all the opportunities available. He added that the exceptions included in that law are a matter of commonsense since matters of public safety and transportation have to be taken seriously.
This law has been regarded as long overdue by cannabis advocates since it was naturally expected that positive test results during pre-employment drugs screening would increase after the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 and commercial sales started a year later for adults 21 and older.
The law passed and enacted in Nevada is similar to the bill which was passed by the New York City Council in April this year. That bill banned employers from demanding that job applicants pass a drugs test for marijuana as a condition for being employed.
In Maine where recreational marijuana is legal, state law bans employers from discriminating people based on whether they use or don’t use marijuana. However, there is no specific provision banning marijuana testing during the employee hiring process.
Now that Nevada has paved the way, many other states are likely to ask themselves why they hadn’t thought of passing such a law since it is only logical that once recreational marijuana is legal, adults will legally use it and it would be unfair to deny them jobs because they used a legal substance.
Industry commentators would be glad to hear what different companies in the cannabis industry, such as Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) and Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE: GGB) (OTCQB: GGBXF), have to say about the developments in the cannabis industry in Nevada.
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