News Next Roundtable Tackles Workplace Policies and Recreational Marijuana

Adult use of recreational marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts for more than two years, and the number of dispensaries in the state increases each month. But increased legal usage and access also means that employers may need to reexamine their workplace policies and procedures.

According to a recent survey by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), about two-thirds of the state’s employers drug test employees or job candidates for drug use, and few (10 percent) plan to alter their policies in response to legalized recreational pot.

And although legal in Massachusetts, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level and state law does not prevent companies from making employment decisions based on drug testing for THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana).

Given the many questions and confusion surrounding legal marijuana and the workplace, the Providers’ Council is hosting a members-only roundtable – Marijuana Legalization Policies and Procedures – on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at Justice Resource Institute in Needham.

Panelists Peter Moser, an attorney with Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLC; Beth Lacey, Senior Vice President for Community Services at Advocates; and Gauri Bhalakia, president of ARCpoint Labs of Southboro-Framingham will discuss the impact of marijuana legalization on the workplace and how HR policies and employment law are evolving.

Some of the questions that will be addressed include how are employee handbooks being updated; could employee usage affect any federal funding your agency receives; how can you tell an employee is sober and what recourse does an employer have?

The roundtable format of this event is designed to make it an interactive sharing of ideas and best practices. Participants are encouraged to ask questions, brainstorm and share their agency challenges, solutions and procedures with the panel and colleagues.

Online registration is currently underway. This event is offered exclusively for Providers’ Council members. If you have questions about this roundtable, please email Amanda McCarthy at or call 617.428.3637.

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