(SHOREVIEW) – Business leaders gathered to talk more about the possible impacts legalized recreational marijuana would have on the workforce.
“We thought, regardless of how people feel about it as a social aspect, businesses need to know how it’s going to affect them,” said president of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Lori Higgins. “So we wanted to bring information to them for what they need to be aware of from a workplace perspective.”
The Chamber hosted the event in Shoreview. An attorney from Colorado discussed that state’s legalization from several years ago and answered questions from the crowd.
“(Business owners) are so busy trying to do their day-to-day work so it’s really hard to focus on things that might happen in the future. This way, we can bring the information to them in a timely manner. Then they’ve got that in their mind and got some resources, and the chambers will continue to help as this goes on,” Higgins said
The topic won’t come before state lawmakers this year but Governor Tim Walz has talked openly about pursuing it. Many business owners expressed their concerns.
“A lot of businesses depend on drivers, (or) they work on machinery, so at minimum, we need to figure out how the legislation of marijuana could affect them in the workplace. Those are basic questions we need answered,” Higgins said.
In 2014, the Minnesota legislature passed laws allowing those with serious medical needs access to marijuana for medical purposes.