Establish, Enforce Marijuana Use Policy at Your Dealership

March 20, 2023

You’ve worked hard to build your business into the successful enterprise it is today. You’ve scrimped, saved and sacrificed.

You’ve made countless tough decisions with the greater good of your customers, your employees and your dealership’s future in mind.

You’ve followed the rules, done it the right way and now you’re enjoying the rewards. (At least I hope you are!)

Now, let me ask you a question. Are you willing to throw all of this away — every single last piece of it — because of one employee’s lapse in judgement or moment of self-indulgence?

That’s what could very well happen if you don’t implement and enforce policies that deal with the use of recreational marijuana at your dealership.

To date, 22 states — and Washington, D.C. — have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. (Thirty-eight states — plus Washington, D.C. — have legalized the use of medical marijuana.)

In this article, SESCO Management Consultants, a company that advises tire dealerships on human resource issues, covers the intricacies of medicinal and recreational marijuana and what you need to know and do as it pertains to both.

I urge you to read the story, clip it out and keep it handy.

If you have a hiring manager or human resources person, share it with them. Share the article with your attorney, too.

Make it required reading for your store managers or anybody who’s in a position of authority at your company.

You need to understand the facts about marijuana use in the workplace and how it can destroy your business.

You may have heard or read that marijuana “is harmless.”

Consider these points, provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health:

•The active ingredient contained in marijuana “affects areas of the brain that control the body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory and judgement” and marijuana use “can impair coordination and distort perception.”

•The risk of getting in a vehicle accident increases “significantly” after marijuana ingestion.

In addition, marijuana use is more common than you might think. According to SESCO, one in eight workers actively uses marijuana on a recreational basis.

Research conducted by the National Safety Council shows that marijuana “is the most frequently used illicit drug of abuse in the United States and the drug most often detected in workplace drug testing.”

You don’t want a high employee to clock into work and get behind the wheel of a delivery truck or forklift — nor do you want a spaced-out technician working on your customers’ vehicles.

Just one marijuana-related incident has the potential to ruin your business, no matter how much insurance you carry. All it takes is one lawsuit.

What can you do? The article from SESCO that I mentioned makes a number of smart recommendations that I believe you should heed and follow.

At the very minimum, you should implement a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to recreational marijuana use at your place of business.

Let your managers and other employees know that recreational marijuana use will not be tolerated and that anyone found in violation of your dealership’s policy will be fired.

Put this in writing, using a third-party expert, if necessary. Run it by an attorney before finalizing.

Require all employees — current and new — to read, understand and sign off on your policy as a condition of employment.

For the sake of your business’ continued existence and success, you have to say more than “no” to drug use. You need to put policies in place and those policies must be enforced.

Leaving it to chance puts you — and everything you’ve worked so hard for — at risk.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at [email protected]

About the Author

Mike Manges | Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 25-year tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward. Before rejoining MTD in September 2019, he held corporate communications positions at two Fortune 500 companies and served as MTD’s senior editor from 2000 to 2010.