Qualified job applicants in Nevada no longer need to worry about being barred from jobs solely based on testing positive for THC in drug screens. On Jan. 1, Nevada’s Assembly Bill 132 took effect after being signed into law by Gov. Steve Sisolak last June. While there are some exceptions, the law redefines how cannabis consumers are treated by potential employers.
“You can apply for a job without the restrictions of knowing that you smoke marijuana and you may not get it,” Christine Thompson, an employee at Blum Budtender Marijuana Dispensary, told 8 News Now.
The bill, however, only affects the hiring process. Once applicants are employed, employers can conduct drug tests as they see fit. Several exceptions also apply, including jobs like firefighters, EMTs, and jobs that require driving a car. 8 News Now reported that according to local attorneys, it’s a matter of interpretation and it can fall within the gray area.
In addition, if an employer requires a recent hire to take a drug screen, then the new employee has the right to submit to an additional screening test to rebut the results, and the employer must accept the follow-up test. Exceptions for that include conflicts with provisions, bargaining agreements or federal jobs.
Assemblymember Dina Neal and other Nevada lawmakers applauded the bill when it was approved last June, but cautioned that safety is still a priority for jobseekers.
Employers, of course, still reserve the right to terminate employees who test positive for THC and other substances while they are on the clock.
This makes Nevada the first state to pass this sort of law that enables job applicants who consume cannabis legally to receive jobs. It sets a precedent for other states who have pre-employment drug screens that don’t align with state law.