NBIS to Examine Marijuana Legalization at Conexpo 2023

NBIS to Examine Marijuana Legalization at Conexpo 2023

Among the more than 175 educational sessions available at this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG (March 14-18, Las Vegas), will be a presentation developed and delivered by NBIS Concrete Pump Manager, Kyle Rask, titled Marijuana: Navigating State and Federal Regulations, set for Thursday, March 16, from 9:30–10:15am, in the West Hall, 201-202.

Within his presentation, Kyle will do a deep dive on current legalization efforts across the U.S., accessibility and tax revenue within applicable states, ease of use, and how to approach and navigate this new landscape. 

Part of that navigation will include understanding how a company’s substance policy needs to accommodate federally regulated employees and the rest of its staff to align with how marijuana is defined and authorized from state to state—which will likely involve re-thinking driver education, company culture, and even workers’ compensation, among other internal processes. 

Informed and Flexible

Growing acceptance of marijuana use in recent years has led to the proliferation of state laws legalizing medical and recreational cannabis consumption, as well as a push for employment protections for off-duty use. Kyle will first address legalization status within various U.S. states and what employers need to know about evolving marijuana laws and their impact on the workplace—including whether or not, and/or how, to incorporate them into an operational policy.

Despite the federal status of cannabis (still a Schedule I drug like heroin and cocaine), 37 states have now approved medical marijuana use, and 18 of those states, and Washington, D.C., also have approved recreational use. Employers should note, however, that workplace protections vary by state, and some cities have their own rules. That said, companies need to keep track of legislation changes, and adjust accordingly, within both their own states, but potentially, the states they do business within. Kyle will walk attendees through how to remain informed and flexible as said legislation evolves around us in real-time.  

At the end of the day, employers will have to engage in these internal discussions and eventually develop their decisions based on updated, marijuana-specific policies. Within his presentation, Kyle will examine how cannabis decriminalization affects multiple aspects of the workplace, including recruiting efforts, safety plans, drug-testing policies, and even social outings with clients. As he points out, even states that have legalized cannabis to some degree may still have state laws that prohibit workplace use or even the presence of cannabis or cannabis-containing products at work.

Ultimately, he’ll explain, some company policy decisions will come down to employers’ risk tolerance and culture. However, even where such pro-cannabis laws have been passed, there are generally exemptions, including for safety-sensitive positions, for those involving driving or piloting vehicles, ships, or planes, and where testing is required by other laws. Some workers, such as drivers subject to U.S. DOT rules, must regularly pass drug tests, regardless of state and local cannabis laws.

If you’re already registered for CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, or you’re planning on it, take the next step and make time for Kyle Rask and this illuminating session. While workplace safety considerations remain paramount, and vary depending on the type of workplace, employers should seriously think about their substance policy, develop a plan, and clearly communicate it to employees. Attending this session will prepare you for exactly that, and more.