Nevada: New Law Bars Employers from Discriminating Against Cannabis Consumers

Carson City, NV: Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation into law prohibiting certain employers from refusing to hire workers because they tested positive for cannabis on a pre-employment drug screen. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.

Assembly Bill 132 makes it "unlawful for any employer in [Nevada] to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana."

The law is not applicable to prospective employees seeking certain safety sensitive positions, such as those seeking employment as firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or federally licensed drivers.

"This is a victory for both cannabis consumers and Nevada’s economy," said Nevada NORML Director Madisen Saglibene. "Just as someone would not lose their job on a Monday for a cocktail they consumed the previous Friday, it is critical to protect the rights and dignity of individuals who choose to enjoy marijuana."

Earlier this year, New York City lawmakers enacted municipal legislation barring non-safety sensitive employers from administering marijuana drug tests to prospective employees.

Urinalysis drug screening, which is most commonly utilized by employers, detects the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites (breakdown products). The residual presence of these compounds may be detectable in urine for several weeks or even months following cannabis abstinence.

The Governor also signed legislation into law this session facilitating the expungement of prior marijuana convictions, expanding the state’s medical cannabis access program, prohibiting the courts from denying child custody or visitation solely based upon a parent’s medical marijuana patient status, and encouraging banking institutions to work with licensed marijuana businesses and to process financial transactions.

For more information, visit Las Vegas NORML or contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator, at (202) 483-5500.