03 Jul 2018

4 Ways Legalized Marijuana Will Affect Oklahoma Businesses

Last week, voters in Oklahoma passed State Question 788 legalizing medical marijuana. Now the Oklahoma Health Department is commissioned with tasking how to regulate this new industry in Oklahoma.

Currently, the bill states if you are looking for a prescription for marijuana, “no qualifying conditions” are required for a physician to recommend the drug. Given the loose requirements and the high demand, this leaves many predicting that this bill basically allows recreational marijuana.

What does legalized marijuana mean to Oklahoma businesses?

As an expert in business growth, it is going to become even harder to succeed in business because it will be harder to maintain a productive, cognizant, and sober workforce. Here’s how:

1. Obstacle to hiring top employees:
One of the most important pieces of any successful business is hiring the right people. Frontline employees influence 90% of the profits of an average company. Since marijuana usage can now be guised as a prescription for an existing medical condition, 788 will make it very difficult to for employers to maintain a drug free workplace.

2. Lower productivity:
Research shows that individuals using marijuana have a decrease in memory, decreased attention span, and a decrease in cognitive learning. This negative effect can last weeks after using the drug. It is very likely that employees using marijuana on a regular basis are operating at a reduced cognitive level during work, which can have dire effects on a company’s bottom line.

3. Increased absenteeism:
In the same study, it was found that employees who tested positive for marijuana were 75% more likely to not show up for work.

4. Increased accidents:
Accidents on the job can be a nightmare in any company as the costs of each incident can be astronomical to a company. In a study of over 2,500 US Postal Services employees, it was found that those who tested positively for marijuana on a pre-employment drug test had 55% more on-the-job accidents and 85% more injuries.

The passing of State Question 788 will create increased obstacles for a leadership team growing a company in Oklahoma. Today more than ever, a CEO or executive team who does not have a clear strategy on hiring A-players or does not fully understand the best practices on how to increase employee engagement, will be left behind!

Later this week, I will post what business leaders can do about these new obstacles facing Oklahoma businesses- the best practices to hire A-Players.

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