In February 2022, legislation called Rhode Island Senate Bill 2371 (S 2371) was introduced to require any owner, officer, director, manager, or employee of any of the licensed marijuana industry establishments in the state to submit to a national criminal background check that would include submitting fingerprints as part of their application or renewal of any application.
Applications would be denied for any guilty plea or felony conviction to felony offenses for any owner, director, manager, or employee of any compassion center, licensed medical cultivator, medical marijuana establishment licensee, medical marijuana emporium, or compassion center cardholder, practitioner, caregiver, qualifying patient, or holder of registry identification cards.
S 2371 was introduced by Rhode Island Senators Leonidas Raptakis (D-District 33), Stephen Archambault (D-District 22), Frank Lombardi (D-District 26), John Burke (D-District 9), Elaine Morgan (R-District 34), Louis DiPalma (D-District 12), Gordon Rogers (R-District 21), V. Susan Sosnowski (D-District 37), Frank Lombardo III (D-District 25), and Maryellen Goodwin (D-District 1).
The bill would amend the “The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act” that was passed in 2006 and amended in 2009 to legalize medical marijuana use in Rhode Island for citizens and residents who suffer from one of the qualifying conditions. The Act shall take effect upon passage. A complete copy of S 2371 is available here.
Marijuana Laws in the U.S.
“The United States is in a constant state of development regarding the legalities surrounding marijuana use. Not only are states legalizing the use of recreational marijuana, but in some cases, they are also making it more challenging to test for marijuana,” Todd Shoulberg, President of ClearStar Medical Information Services, wrote in “The Current State of Workplace Drug Testing.”
Shoulberg’s article also explained the reason for the increase in positive drug tests: “Although marijuana is a Schedule I drug at the federal level, medical marijuana use is legal in 37 states, and recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states and Washington D.C. With the rising increase of legalized and decriminalized marijuana, the general use has also increased,” he wrote.
Shoulberg wants to make sure employers are aware of the legal ramifications of neglecting to maintain a drug-free work environment. They should keep up to date on which states are legalizing marijuana use, which states restrict marijuana drug testing, and the liabilities a company may face if an employee causes or is involved in a drug-related accident.
“It is important for employers to realize that marijuana use is up, positive test results have increased, especially in states that have legalized the recreational use of pot, and marijuana-related traffic accidents and fatalities have also increased,” Shoulberg wrote in the article which is available at www.clearstar.net/the-current-state-of-workplace-drug-testing/.
About ClearStar Drug Testing
ClearStar, a leading provider of employee screening services, including drug testing, is uniquely qualified to keep employers up to date on all the new developments surrounding drug testing and marijuana laws in the United States. To learn more about drug testing from ClearStar, please visit www.clearstar.net/drug-clinical-testing/.
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