A Little Rock attorney gave a presentation at the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce’s First Friday Breakfast on how the state’s medical marijuana laws affect businesses and how employers can be compliant.
J. Bruce Cross of Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C. said by phone that, as a labor lawyer, he saw medical marijuana in the workplace as something that needed to be addressed.
Act 593 of 2017, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law in March, clarifies some of the provisions of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act that was passed last year by creating definitions for employer, employee, under the influence and safety sensitive position, according to Cross’s presentation. “Under the influence” is defined as symptoms of current use of marijuana that may negatively impact the performance of the job duties or constitute a threat to health or safety. A safety sensitive position is any position involving a safety sensitive function pursuant to federal regulations adopted by the United States Department of Transportation or any other federal or state agency’s rules, guidelines or regulations. A position can also be considered safety sensitive if it is designated in writing by the employer as such because a person performing the position under the influence of marijuana may constitute a threat to health or safety, such as positions that require the employee to carry a firearm or work with hazardous or flammable materials.