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Amazon won't test jobseekers for cannabis, with exceptions

The company said it will continue to test workers for other drugs and conduct “impairment checks” on the job. Some roles may still require a marijuana test.

Amazon said Tuesday that it plans to stop testing jobseekers for marijuana, in many cases. 

The company, the second-largest private employer in the U.S. behind Walmart, is making the change as states legalize cannabis or introduce laws banning employers from testing for it, the Associated Press reported

In March, a New York man sued Amazon, saying the company rescinded his job offer at an Amazon warehouse because he tested positive for marijuana, even though the city banned employers from testing job applicants for cannabis in 2020. 

Amazon said in a blog post that it will still test workers for other drugs and conduct "impairment checks" on the job. And the company said some roles may still require a cannabis test in line with Department of Transportation regulations.

Seattle-based Amazon also said Tuesday that it will support the federal legalization of marijuana by pushing lawmakers to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021.

In 2019 Market Watch reported on a New Jersey man who was fired from his warehouse associate position at Amazon after his marijuana use was discovered. According to reporting on the lawsuit filed at the time, the man claimed he was "blacklisted" from other jobs at Amazon-owned companies like Whole Foods, as well. 

The worker, according to court filings reported on by Market Watch, said he made $14.10 per hour at the time, plus benefits, and had been promoted twice during his time with the company. The man had a state-issued card based on a doctor's certification, which said he was permitted to use medical cannabis. His lawyer told Market Watch that his client never used cannabis before going in to work, and was not impaired while on the job. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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