Human resources (HR) consultant Trisha Zulic is the CEO of Efficient Edge HR & Training Service in San Diego. She says employment biases against cannabis are a barrier to acquiring and retaining talent and advises employers to stop testing for it.
She recommends that employees and job applicants keep their medical cannabis use to themselves. But she advises them to read the employee handbook to see if there is a company policy on prescription drug use, although technically medical marijuana is not prescribed; it is recommended.
They are not, says Lanett Austin, explaining that personal health information is protected under the federal HIPAA Privacy Rule. Ms. Austin is the vice president of Culture, Engagement, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Curaleaf, a national producer and distributor of cannabis products.
Ms. Austin and Ms. Zulic believe that job candidates are more selective in their employment searches because they can afford to be in today’s tight labor market. They say this new paradigm in the workforce has led employers to update their corporate cultures and relax their attitudes toward marijuana.
“People are no longer molding themselves to the job or the employer industry,” says Ms. Austin. “It's reversed. They're going, ‘This is who I am. I want to show up authentically. And I have found that medical cannabis is much better for me than prescription drugs or alcohol.’”
Adds Ms. Zulic: “You know what I tell HR professionals and business leaders? Nothing changes if nothing changes. And we just have to begin that change, that innovation, to be more inclusive in what we do. Yes, that does include the use of medical marijuana.”