Learn to Discuss Medical Cannabis with Your Employer

If there is any term that defines the modern cannabis industry, the term would undoubtedly be “change.” This notion applies to the internal workings of business and policy, as well as the perceived image of cannabis in the public eye. Looking at the medical field, legitimate scientific studies into the benefits of cannabis are still in their infancy. discuss medical cannabis with your employer

This notion, coupled with drug war rhetoric that is still ingrained in the minds of many Americans, has created a confusing situation on how employers should treat medical cannabis patients. Moreover, as a medical marijuana patient, it can be tough to discuss medical cannabis with your employer. As leading cannabis recruiters, the team at M&F Talent recognizes the precarious nature that medical patients face in the workplace. 

If you are a medical patient and feel inclined to discuss medical cannabis with your employer, there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure the best possible reaction. 

Know the Current State of the Cannabis Industry

As widespread cannabis legalization has occurred across the U.S. and Canada, we have seen outdated drug war ideologies precariously juxtaposed against the dramatically shifting tides of business interest in the industry. Resultantly, even industry “insiders” are confused about the current state of the marketplace, as it is marked with contradictory motives, ideologies, and plans.

Among the tides of changing legislation, evolving viewpoints, and alarming contradictions, it is easy to forget that the legal cannabis industry was founded on the very real medical needs of marijuana patients. Unfortunately, these individuals are often left to fend for themselves in an environment where inconsistent “scientific studies” are touted as “fact” on a near-daily basis. 

For many medical cannabis patients, the prospect of failing a drug test and losing a job is a genuine threat. With such a confusing patchwork of regulations across the industry, it can be tough for patients to even know what their rights are under state law. 

Do Your Homework on Medical Cannabis

Because the industry is changing so rapidly, it can be quite confusing to understand the legality of cannabis or CBD in a specific marketplace at any given time. That said, if you decide to discuss medical cannabis with your employer, be sure that you understand the legal standing of cannabis where you live. discuss medical cannabis with your employer

Since different U.S. States have different qualifying conditions for medical cannabis, study up on your specific locale. For example, certain states recognize psychological disorders like anxiety and PTSD as qualifying conditions, while others only deal with serious medical conditions like HIV and cancer. By understanding exactly what types of patients are protected in your state, you will have much more confidence when it comes time to discuss medical cannabis with your employer. 

Before you discuss medical cannabis with your employer, it’s also a good idea to learn about drug policies at your place of work. While unfortunate, it could be the case they don’t recognize the validity of medical cannabis and you could be setting yourself up for a bad situation. 

Present a Legitimate Medical Need

If you decide to disclose your medical cannabis usage to your employer, be sure that you present a specific medical need. To this end, there is perhaps no surer way to raise suspicion with your employer than admitting you use cannabis without linking it to a qualifying medical condition in your state. Before you discuss medical cannabis with your employer, prepare to explain exactly what your dosage looks like and how it relates to your medical condition. 

Serious medical cannabis patients should look at cannabis as an alternative to invasive prescription medications – not as another avenue for recreational drug use. In the end, nothing will raise suspicions with an employer as much as someone who attempts to abuse this new system and perpetuate bad stereotypes about cannabis usage. 

Be Prepared to Debate the Medical Cannabis Topic

discuss medical cannabis with your employer Whether you are new on the job or have worked there for 10 years, be prepared to discuss the medical marijuana issue. While public opinion is doubtlessly swaying in favor of medical cannabis, drug war ideologies are still deeply ingrained in the minds of mainstream America. As such, if you would like to discuss medical cannabis use with your employer, please bring factual information to the table that can be the basis for an objective dialogue. In the end, a well-thought-out argument could convince even the most conservative employer to look beyond stigmas and give you the benefit of the doubt. 

While cannabis legalization has made incredible progress over the past 10 years, it is still federally illegal in the United States. Moreover, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) continues to purport that cannabis is a “Schedule I drug,” meaning it has “no accepted medical use” and has a “high potential for abuse.” To this end, as long as our medical institutions receive instruction from such government agencies as the FDA, USDA, and DEA, stigmas surrounding medical cannabis will be extremely difficult to break. 

Look for a New Job if Needs Be

A final word of caution for those medical cannabis patients there. if you happen to work in a dangerous job that requires the use of heavy machinery, you should look for a new career if you must medicate throughout the day. 

Cannabis can impair cognitive functions crucial for safe machine operation, including reaction time, coordination, and judgment. This impairment increases the risk of accidents, potentially causing serious injuries or fatalities to the operator and others nearby. If you have a serious condition that requires the regular consumption of medical cannabis, working with heavy machinery simply is not a good idea. 

Summary: Should You Discuss Medical Cannabis with Your Employer?

The cannabis industry is changing faster than most can perceive, and this volatility is creating confusion and frustration for both employers and employees. At the base of this confusion exist vast discrepancies in what different parties consider “facts.” To illustrate, the industry is continuously inundated with claims about cannabis that aren’t necessarily backed by real scientific research – this notion applies to both sides of the legalization debate.

Looking to the future, we can only hope that as the industry grows more sophisticated, better standards on things like testing, labeling, and dosing will make the employer-and-employee relationship more functional. Yet, these evolutions are still dependent on acceptance by the federal government, as this acknowledgment is the most direct way to control and professionalize the industry, and, in turn, convince skeptical employers that cannabis is real medicine.

Interested in a Cannabis Job? Contact M&F Talent!  

As one of the top recruiting services in the cannabis industry, M&F Talent has watched public sentiment in the industry change over the years. While great strides have been made for mainstream acceptance, many medical cannabis patients face extremely challenging situations at work

Contact us if you’re interested in finding a job in the Cannabis industry or hiring top talent.