The Impact of the Legalization of Marijuana on Supply Chain Operations

Open Access
Alvarez, Megan Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Robert Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • drug testing
  • marijuana
  • legalization
  • government regulation
  • transportation
  • safety
The purpose of this thesis is to provide an analysis of key issues and considerations for a supply chain organization in regards to the impact of the legalization of marijuana on business operations. The main areas to be explored include legal considerations, the physical and cognitive effects of marijuana on an individual, the nature logistics functions and governmental regulations, and drug testing methods. Discussion on these issues will be based on current legislation and relevant research findings as well as on interviews with industry experts. Through this research it was determined that the best approach for companies evaluating their drug policies in response to the legalization of marijuana is to maintain and reinforce a zero-tolerance drug policy. Prohibiting marijuana use by employees is consistent with and protected under federal legislation and avoids many of the issues and complexities involved in the management and testing for marijuana use in employees. As research on marijuana use and development of improved testing methods continues to progress, companies may consider reevaluating their policies.