Amazon is throwing its weight behind federal pot legalization.
The Jeff Bezos-owned e-commerce giant announced its support for a proposed bill to legalize marijuana across the US — and said that it will no longer disqualify people from working at the company in certain roles if they test positive for pot use.
Amazon’s public policy team will be “actively supporting” the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which seeks to legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge criminal records, Amazon’s consumer boss Dave Clark said Tuesday in a blog post.
The bill would also tax cannabis products and invest some of that money in communities hit hardest by the criminalization of marijuana. The bill was reintroduced in Congress on Friday.
“We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” Clark wrote.
Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the country, will also no longer test its job applicants for pot use for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, Clark added.
Amazon has fulfillment centers in nearly all 50 states. Its home state of Washington was among the first in the country to legalize the recreational use of weed in 2012.
It’s now building another headquarters in Virginia, where weed is set to become legal on July 1. It also has a significant presence in New York, which legalized pot in March.
Marijuana is legal in 16 states and Washington, DC, and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states.
“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Clark wrote. “However, given where state laws are moving across the US, we’ve changed course.”
The company will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident, Clark noted.
Amazon’s announcement appeared to give shares of publicly traded pot companies a boost. Shares of Tilray were up more than 5 percent Wednesday and Cronos Group stock was up over 3 percent. Shares of Sundial rose more than 10 percent in intra-day trading.