There is now legalization of both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis in various U.S. states and Canada. This creates a list of challenges and questions within the trucking industry…
Federal laws currently prohibit trucking companies from transporting cannabis products. Furthermore, drivers are NOT permitted to operate a vehicle under the influence of cannabis. Currently in the U.S., law-enforcement do not currently have a way to field-test professional drivers for impairment caused by marijuana, like they do for alcohol…a driver would have to be taken somewhere for an actual blood test.
Canada, however, has approved a portable device being used by some law enforcement. The device tests oral fluids for traces of THC (the active ingredient of cannabis). Only a select few law enforcement officials actually have one of these devices as they’re still being tested for accuracy and consistency.
The legalization of marijuana also affects the ongoing challenges of recruitment and retention in the industry. One anonymous Colorado company made a point to inform individuals inquiring about jobs to NOT apply if they have consumed any amount of cannabis within a certain period of time. Despite these warnings, the company is still getting a 60-percent failure rate on its pre-employment substance testing.
As we venture into 2019 it should be interesting to see how the new laws and new shipping demands affect the trucking industry.
Stay tuned for updates on the Transflo blog.