A revised legal marijuana bill would still bar employers from considering personal use of the substance in hiring and firing decisions – a provision opposed by business advocates.
Under a draft of Senate Bill 2703, dated March 13 and obtained by NJBIZ, businesses could only consider the marijuana use as a condition of employment if the employer “has a rational basis for doing so which is reasonably related to employment, including the responsibilities of the employee or prospective employee.”
Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislature’s top Democrats clinched a legalization deal on March 12, with plans for committee votes on March 18 and consideration by the full Assembly and Senate on March 25.
The deal calls for taxing marijuana at $42 an ounce and for a five-member Cannabis Regulatory Commission to oversee the marijuana industry.
The governor would pick three commission members without Senate approval, while the Senate President and Assembly Speaker would each pick on member. After the four-year terms of those commissioners, gubernatorial picks would require Senate confirmation.
As part of an expungement provision, employers could not consider criminal charges, arrests or convictions related to distribution or possession, when determining whether to hire a candidate.
“We are asking that any law making marijuana legal for recreational adult use or expanding the state’s medical marijuana program also give employers the right to prohibit employees from using it in the workplace or coming to work under the influence of it,” New Jersey Business & Industry Association Vice President Mike Wallace said in November during a committee hearing on S2703.