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Business group says legalizing marijuana could lead to work site injuries, increased insurance costs for businesses

There is a good chance that recreational marijuana use will be legalized in New York. In fact, lawmakers last week called the legislation that’s being detailed out now- imminent to pass.

That said, business groups in New York are cautioning that the legalization of cannabis products could lead to some safety and insurance issues.

“Current unregulated cannabis testing technologies and drug recognition methods do not provide a clear indication of worker impairment which will jeopardize workplace safety,” the groups wrote in a letter to lawmakers. “The unregulated testing technologies can only detect the presence of cannabis for a short period of time and drug recognition experts are limited to highly skilled law enforcement professionals. Furthermore, the adult use cannabis proposals from the Executive and Legislature do not establish a standardized impairment level complicating an employers’ duty to provide a safe working environment.”

The big concern is on construction sites- where injuries could occur. Stakeholders say it will mean more cost for them. “The tremendous costs and limited availability of the commercial general liability insurance have an impact across New York because construction costs go up, fewer workers are hired, consumers pay higher prices for goods and services, and the economy suffers,” the letter adds.