Research/studies Drugs

Poll: Many employers not ready to deal with workers’ marijuana use


Rochester, NY — Approximately one-third of business owners with fewer than 500 employees are ill prepared to manage the impact of marijuana use on the workplace, according to the results of a recent poll.

Paychex, a human capital management solutions firm, polled 500 randomly selected business owners with fewer than 500 employees during a 12-day period in February. Owners are slightly more prepared to manage legalized medical marijuana use – which is legal in 33 states – than recreational use, results show. Ten states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, have legalized recreational use of the drug.

Of the respondents, 66% reported being “very prepared” or “somewhat prepared” for medicinal use, while only 62% said the same about recreational legalization.

Among industries, professional services is the most prepared for medical use (70%) and the least prepared for recreational use (58%), while manufacturing and retail/wholesale are the most prepared for recreational use (64%). In contrast, manufacturing is the least prepared for medical use, at 64%.


“Marijuana legalization for medical or recreational use introduces new complexities for businesses to navigate when it comes to workplace drug enforcement policies,” Paychex President and CEO Martin Mucci said in a June 19 press release. “While marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, the legislation in each jurisdiction varies and may require business owners, especially those operating in multiple states, to comply in different capacities.”

Mucci recommends business owners and human resources leaders work with an advisor to “develop an appropriate drug policy that works for them,” based on their state’s legislation and that of the states where they do business.

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