Amazon Supports Cannabis Industry to Legalize at Federal Level, Reforms Drugs Testing Policy
This week Amazon has been in the news for its support of the cannabis industry to legalize at the Federal level and reform its own drug testing policy to exclude cannabis, amongst other talk relating to cannabis. This is a huge step forward for cannabis users who use Amazon as their sole online store.
Amazon is one of many companies jumping on board with this new business opportunity, including Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and many more. These companies have started investing in the industry through partnerships with marijuana start-ups and developing products that can be used or consumed by those who partake in recreational weed.
The Move Towards A Flexible Drug Testing Policy
In a recent blog post, David Clark, the lieutenant of Amazon, announced, "We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use."
Amazon has nearly doubled its workforce in the last year due to the pandemic increasing the demand for online shopping. It's now one of the largest employers in the world, with more than 1.2 million people working either full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary workers. To continue hiring the best candidates as they continue to grow, Amazon is reforming its drug testing procedures to be more flexible.
In the past, employees were disqualified from working at Amazon if they were to test positive for marijuana use. This new policy is an update to their vision to be the Earth's Best Employer and Safest Place To work. It will allow employees who have a prescription for medicinal marijuana in their home state and do not work in one of their federally regulated jobs from having to disclose it during their pre-employment screening or regular mandatory drug testing.
Amazon Is Supporting Public Change
Along with updating their employee drug testing policy, Amazon has also announced that they will be supporting the (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021, which pushes federal legislation to expunge criminal record, legalize marijuana at the federal level, and invest in impacted communities.
While the Act would not completely legalize marijuana, it would help remove it from the list of controlled substances, which would allow states complete authority to self-regulate the plant. This, in-turn, could help fix criminal records for hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders and alleviate control in stricter states.
Will Amazon Start Selling Marijuana Products?
Just because Amazon has shifted their support does not mean that they will be selling these products on their online marketplace, primarily because Amazon would need a special license for each area. Plus, varying local or state laws would make it challenging to deliver legally. However, it is not inconceivable that the company could be considering selling cannabis-related items such as vaporizers, especially since it is already allowing the sale of hemp products such as CBD oil.
The move to support legalizing marijuana comes following pressure from activist investors over how Amazon has been slow in responding to changing public opinion on drug policy reform, along with a class-action suit, which claimed that Amazon had violated a law in New York City by testing applicants for marijuana in order to be eligible for a job.