New Jersey employers seek advice on workplace testing as cannabis legalizes


Earlier this year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A21, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulation, Enforcement Assistance and Market Modernization Act (CREAMMA) law. enabling for the amendment of the Constitution of New Jersey and, thus, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis in the state.

While the new legislation allows employers to perform various forms of drug testing for cannabis, it also limits an employer’s ability to rely on a positive drug test result in making decisions. in employment. In addition, the new law requires that a drug test include both “physical evaluation” and “scientifically reliable objective testing methods and procedures, such as blood, urine or saliva tests.” . The “physical assessment” must be carried out by a certified person to give an opinion on the state of weakening or absence of weakening of the employee, linked to the consumption of cannabis.

The new law gives the Cannabis Regulatory Commission the task of adopting standards for an “expert in the recognition of disabilities at work” (WIRE). This will be a person who will need to be trained to detect and identify an employee’s use or impairment of cannabis or other intoxicating substances, as well as to help investigate workplace accidents.

In August, the Commission published “Rules for the Personal Use of Cannabis,” which did not cover employer drug testing practices. According to the commission, “no physical assessment of an employee subjected to a drug test in accordance with [the new law] will be required ”until it“ develops standards for an expert certification in the recognition of work disabilities ”in consultation with the Police Training Board.

Currently, many New Jersey employers are waiting for the Commission to issue another set of regulations and clarify some of the law’s unanswered questions, including its impact on employers with employees in safety-critical positions.

According to online legal information repository JD Supra, until new clarifications and regulations are released, New Jersey employers should consider working with experienced employment counselors to determine if they need to change their employment practices. drug testing, including the ability to eliminate cannabis testing either for employment or for certain types of positions. JD Supra also suggests hiring a legal advisor to provide training for managers tasked with determining reasonable suspicions and identifying who will serve as the employer’s FIL.


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