CDC Issues Cannabis Guidance for Businesses That Employ Drivers

The Centers for Disease Control, recognizing that cannabis can be detected in one’s system days or even weeks after its use, suggested a nuanced approach to cannabis workplace policies for businesses that employ drivers but encouraged a zero-tolerance policy for at-work consumption.

Full story after the jump.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shared cannabis workplace policy guidance for businesses that employ drivers. First reported by Marijuana Moment, the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) said that due to rising cannabis use rates in the U.S. and the fact cannabis is second only to alcohol as the most prevalent drug in post-crash testing, “the substance needs to be addressed as part of all workplace motor vehicle safety programs.”

In the post, CDC reminds readers that cannabis affects parts of the brain that control “movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment.” They say cannabis use may slow down reaction time and point to studies that have shown an increased risk of crashing after cannabis use. However, CDC says that “marijuana’s specific contribution to crash risk is unclear because it can be detected in body fluids for days or even weeks after use.”

Instead of advising a blanket no-tolerance policy, CDC calls for a more nuanced approach depending on the cannabis laws in the state the business is located. However, they encourage a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to on-the-job cannabis use and cannabis use right before work.

“Despite some unanswered questions about marijuana’s role in crash risk, workers under the influence of marijuana do not have the skills needed to drive safely,” NIOSH wrote.

The post outlines a host of other suggestions like partnering with an attorney to review drug policies and to be very clear about drug testing and the conditions and circumstances where such a test may be required. They advise employers to explain to drivers that consuming CBD products may be risky as the labels may not accurately reflect THC concentrations, which could lead to a failed drug test.

CDC also recommends driver education around impaired driving and suggests managers stay up to date on relevant cannabis laws in their state.

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