The Minnesota state legislature — both the House and the Senate — passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. If Gov. Tim Walz signs the final version of the bill as expected, Minnesota will be the 23rd state to buck federal restrictions on cannabis. For employers in Minnesota and similar states, what does legalization or decriminalization mean for HR professionals?
In Minnesota specifically, per the state Senate’s version of the bill, local governments could limit the number of cannabis businesses. Additionally, criminal offenses for cannabis are to be expunged from individuals’ records by 2025 — while the Minnesota House vied for expungements in August 2023.
Regarding the future of work, two points come to mind: First, HR managers looking for a career shift may find fresh opportunities in this emerging “extra-legal” market. Below are installments of HR Dive’s cannabis series, profiling the ever-evolving face of HR in the cannabis industry.
Another opportunity for growth in HR: If passed, Minnesota can become a talent acquisition proving ground by expunging weed-related criminal offenses and thereby facilitating a wave of second-chance hiring.
Naturally, a source of concern for many HR professionals is the possibility of decreased employee engagement, worker impairment and site safety issues, and overall, employee attrition. In speaking with labor experts for the stories below, HR Dive uncovered an alternative point of view: Employee weed use and excellent performance in the workplace can co-exist — with some parameters, of course.