As the Smoke Settles: How the legalization of recreational weed affects employment policies – Bedford Now

MICHIGAN — It’s been just over a year since Proposal 1 was passed in Michigan. The ballot proposal legalized recreational marijuana for Michiganders over the age of 21.

But 13 months later, in parts of West Michigan, recreational — technically referred to as “adult-use” — marijuana businesses are close to non-existent.

One thing for certain is regulations for marijuana businesses have changed frequently since the Nov. 6, 2018, election when voters passed Proposal 1. The ballot proposal had 56 percent of statewide voter support and officially took effect Dec. 6, 2018.

“We’re always on our toes,” said Greg Maki, who opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in Ottawa County in August called Exit 9 Provisionary, and owns a medical dispensary named Park Place Provisionary in Muskegon, where he is applying for a recreational license.

“It seems like every two weeks the rug gets pulled out from under us,” Maki said.

For Don Lawless, a Grand Rapids-based attorney with Barnes & Thornburg LLP, his clients want to understand what ever-changing marijuana legislation requires of them, and what options they have within that.

Lawless has worked most closely with companies in West Michigan and across the state to help them navigate marijuana legislation, and has done webinar training for out-of-state businesses as well, he said.

“Clients have had a year to work in this environment and right now the employers really continue to have a full range of choices on how they decide to regulate either recreational or medical marijuana in the workplace,” Lawless said. “They’ve got the ability to accommodate medical and recreational marijuana should they choose to do so.”

There might be some room to litigate the scope of marijuana policies, Lawless said, but employers in Michigan still have the same right before Prop. 1 to fire or not hire

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