How Will Issue 3 Affect Business Owners?

In a few short weeks, you will be voting on a somewhat confusing and controversial bill, whether the sale and use of marijuana will become legal. This bill is Issue 3 and may or may not cause issues for some businesses who aren’t prepared for this change.

While there are many individuals in favor of its passage, as it is estimated to create 1,000 new retail establishments which it good for economic development, it is also important to note that the Council of Smaller Businesses (COSE), the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce are opposed to the passage of the initiative because of potential legal and safety issues .

Let’s take a closer look at Issue 3 and then you decide.

What is Issue 3?

The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative is an Ohio initiated constitutional amendment on the ballot on November 3, 2015.

This initiative would allow:

  • Personal marijuana use by anyone at least 21 years of age
  • Anyone with a prescription to consume medical marijuana
  • Marijuana to be sold at 1,100 licensed locations across the state
  • The creation of 10 special centers for commercial marijuana growth, cultivation and extraction

If this Issue passes, Ohio will be the fifth state to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use.

What are the Business Concerns?

There are 3 practical concerns that come with legalization of marijuana.

Ability to Find Workers

For example, Hunt Imaging LLC in Berea, is a company that makes dry toner and copying machines, and they have a shop floor that has forklifts and heavy machinery. The company’s CFO, Mike Stanek, said he is concerned that employees may be impaired while using such machinery. Given that the company rejects half of their job applicants because of drug test failures, he is worried that they will have an even harder time finding good workers.

Ability to Retain Workers

This brings up another grey area. While employers will have the right to continue random drug testing (if they have drug-free policies in place), will the use of recreational marijuana impact the employee’s test? As of yesterday, we are unsure of the impact.

However, positive results are on the rise. The most recent figures from national drug-testing company Quest Diagnostics show that positive results for marijuana use in the workforce rose 6.2 % in 2013. This contributed to the first rise in positives for overall drug testing since 2003. In the two states that legalized recreational marijuana use, the increase was even more pronounced: in Washington, use was up by 23%, and rose by 20% in Colorado.

Conflict with Federal and State Laws

In addition, the American Bar Association points out for those states where this legislation has passed, there are already emerging employment issues around pot smoking because federal laws ban the use of any marijuana. Case in point, recently the Colorado Supreme Court ruled an employer could fire a worker who was left paralyzed by an accident and uses medical marijuana off the job to control spasms because federal law allowed it to do so.

All Roads Lead to This Quagmire

Should you tightening policies on positive test results to keep users out of your business or loosen them to avoid driving away qualified employees?

SACS Consulting Can Help Establish or Update Your Drug-Free Policy

Do you need a Drug-Free Safety Policy or an update on your current policy or additional management training? If you do not have a drug-free safety policy, now is the time to get in front of this issue! Call SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc.  at 330-255-1101 Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 PM.

We can evaluate your current policy and help you put the right one in place.

Lastly, if you have a professional organization and are looking for a cutting edge and informative presentation to your group on this or other topics call Timothy Dimoff at SACS Consulting and Investigative Services, Inc. today!

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One Comment

  1. Very informative, thank you. As a parent of three impressionable children and a health professional for the State of Ohio, I believe this will have long term negative consequences for years to come for our youth and workers. Hopefully, our leaders can provide a value system based on good sound principles that provide boundaries for the benefit of the majority

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