Great news for employees at the e-commerce company Amazon broke in June. One of its key executive officers, Dave Clark, CEO of worldwide consumer, announced in a company blog post that the policy team will be actively supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act) in the US. Besides, Amazon will start treating the use of marijuana among its employees like the use of alcohol: running checks after incidents and not before. That is, the company will stop testing its employees to identify whether they are cannabis users.
Cannabis at Work
It is well known that drug tests at companies are common practice in the US, either because of internal policies or the need to keep employees away from prohibited substances. Some special circumstances allow for a surprise test at work, e.g., if there is suspicion that an employee is a frequent user or if he or she poses a threat to third parties. However, drug testing in companies is a legal practice only if the employee has given his or her explicit consent. The duration that marijuana remains in a person’s system varies depending on several factors. Even though the effects wear off in a few hours, according to the American Addiction Centers, THC can still be detected on a hair test for up to 90 days, between 3 days and a month in urine (depending on the frequency use), up to 48 hours in saliva, and up to 36 hours on a blood test.
Drug testing is becoming more and more frequent as companies wish to ensure that employees do not take narcotics that may alter their performance. “In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use. However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course,” Amazon’s executive wrote. Amazon will no longer include marijuana in its comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation.
A Paradigm Shift Causing Shares to Soar
This Amazon policy change related to marijuana takes place in a context where many states of the US have already introduced laws and regulations to allow for the legal sale and purchase of cannabis. It is no longer illusory to state that US marijuana prohibition may be on its last legs. In fact, the MORE Act was reintroduced in Congress in May and now awaits a vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
This piece of legislation, supported by Jeff Bezos’ company, “would legalise marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities”, according to Clark. “We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” he added.
This change of stance on the part of the e-commerce giant is included in a post titled “Update on our vision to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”
Since one of the most prominent tech companies has changed its course, share prices of cannabis companies jumped on Wednesday, June 2nd, after Clark endorsed this congress bill, with shares of companies such as Canopy Growth rising 1.52%, Cronos Group closing the day up 1.2%, Tilray leaping 1.5%, and Hexo climbing up almost 1% in pre-market trading.