Chico Businesses Attend Cannabis Panel

Cannabis sales are still a no-go in chico, but local business owners are now looking for answers on how to adjust workplace policies for employees in light of Proposition 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana.

Posted: Aug. 22, 2018 5:50 PM

Cannabis sales are still a no-go in chico, but local business owners are now looking for answers on how to adjust workplace policies for employees in light of Proposition 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana.

Mark Pierce, President of North Valley Ag Services is sensitive to the issues that face his farm supply business.

"There's a lot of uncertainty, as far as employers go, what the law is, what they can do in terms of drug testing," he said.

Legal cannabis sales are still stonewalled in the city of Chico, but recreational use is permitted, since the passage of Prop 64. On Wednesday, Chico's Chamber of Commerce held a panel to address the growing number of questions by the local business community.

"There are high risk jobs out there," said Loretta Weber of the Valley Contractors Exchange, "how do you measure that as an employer to make sure that they keep that person safe as well as others?"

Holden Law Group, a Chico law firm spoke to the legal impact of Prop 64. Among them -- Prop 64 did not create new employee rights, or prohibit discrimination against employees who use marijuana. Employers can continue to ban pot possession or use on workplace property.

The chamber of commerce recommends that all employers review and clearly communicate their drug and alcohol policies to employees.  Employers should enforce company policies consistently to avoid liability and educate staff on how to recognize drug and alcohol abuse.

So while the ban on cannabis sales remains in the city of Chico, it's clear that business owners aren't taking any chances.

"Everyone recognizes that [sales in Chico] is a potential in the future, and local businesses want to be armed with the knowledge of the issue," Mark Pierce said.

Chico business owners who are seeking more information about how to navigate workplace policies under Prop 64 are encouraged to reach out to the chamber of commerce.

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