Amazon drops cannabis testing for some employees

Jul 27, 2021 Inc. has announced that some of its new recruits will no longer be disqualified from gaining employment for testing positive for cannabis in HR drug tests.

In addition, the company has announced measures in support of the full legalization of cannabis at Federal level. According to the firm’s blog post, it will treat cannabis the same as alcohol in US states where the drug laws have changed. Furthermore, cannabis will no longer be included in Amazon’s drug screening program, for job positions that are not regulated by the Department of Transportation (DoT).

With regard to its alcohol policy, the company said it will continue carrying out ‘impairment checks’ including for cannabis and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.

Although Amazon does not currently sell cannabis products on its online platform, the firm has stated that it will actively support The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, which aims to legalize cannabis at the federal level, as well as expunge criminal records and drive investment in communities.

According to CNN News, it is not yet clear to what extent Amazon will fund cannabis reform efforts on the federal level, as well as whether it plans to fund future business endeavours related to cannabis products.

“To have have one of the world’s largest employers take this stance — and in such a public manner — could prove immensely influential,” said Andy Challenger, a senior vice president of the law firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in his interview with CNN News.

“When a major company like this makes announcements that are paradigm-shifting, it definitely paves the way and makes it easier for other organizations to do that,” Challenger said.

Currently, over two-thirds of US states have medical cannabis laws in place; of those, 18 have given the go-ahead to recreational cannabis programs (which does not include South Dakota, where a voter-approved measure is currently subject of a legal battle). In addition, the latest poll from Gallup found Americans’ support of cannabis legalization at an all-time high — 68% of those surveyed were in its favour.