Nevada Businesses Officially Barred from Using Pre-Employment Pot Screenings

Silver State businesses can still give employees the axe for coming to work high, but can no longer pre-screen potential hires for weed.

Nevada pot smokers can now apply for new jobs without worrying about month-long tolerance breaks, fake pee, cranberry pills or any other trappings of cannabis drug testing.

According to Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV, the Silver State’s long-awaited legal weed employee protections went into effect on January 1st, officially banning businesses from using cannabis drug tests to pre-screen potential employees.

“Anybody over the age of 21 can possess or purchase cannabis. They should not be failing a drug test for Cannabis as a condition of employment,” Nevada cannabis consultant Jason Sturtsman told KSNV. “If somebody wants to enjoy Cannabis at home, in the comfort of their home, it is completely legal in the State of Nevada. They should not be excluded from a job.”

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolek signed the workers pot protection law in the summer of 2019 after it was passed by both chambers of the state legislature. But because the law did not kick in until the start of 2020, employers have had a six month leeway period to enforce outdated hiring policy. With the turn of the calendar, Nevadans can now consume their legal cannabis without threat of missing out on a dream job or steady paycheck.

“That really opens up their job pool and allows for that much more normalization in this state, and you’re going to see many other states, too, following through with very similar legislation,” Sturtsman said.

Because of the nature of specific jobs, the law will not apply to firefighters, EMTs for other professions that require on-the-clock driving. Additionally, while the new protections ban all pre-hiring pot tests, businesses are still allowed to test their employees for cannabis once they have accepted a job, and could fire workers for being under the influence while on the clock.

A number of other states, Washington D.C., and even New York City have passed similar laws protecting legal medical and adult-use cannabis users from employer discrimination, but other legal weed states have moved more slowly, creating an environment where cannabis is technically legal, but can still lead to severe punishment.

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